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Water Filters Can Be Recycled

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

We’re all headed back to the taps to keep plastic out of our production and waste streams and keep dioxin and other plastic chemicals out of our bodies. Tap water is safe, though many of us are choosing to further purify what comes from our faucet with pitcher and counter-top water filters. There are many affordable and effective options available and you can start here. I use a counter-top unit by Living Water Systems.

But wait – if you are one of the many people using the Clorox owned, popular Brita filters, keep reading! Those filters, replaced with great frequency, could and should be collected and recycled. In Europe, the original Brita GmbH company, has created a take-back recycling program for its filter cartridges. They are collected at in-store sites and shipped to Brita’s recycling center, where they are dismantled and the components reused. But here in North America, there is not recycling process in place. Beth, from took on the issue in full force, initiating the Take Back the Filter Campaign. Please go sign the petition now and take millions of plastic and carbon filters out of our wastestream.

The website is full of information. Here are just a few of the important facts:

* Plastic is a non-renewable resource made from petroleum. It is not biodegradable, lingering in the environment virtually forever. Plastic can attract and accumulate oil-based toxins, and the production of plastic is fraught with environmental hazards. The more we are able to reuse/recycle the plastic products we produce rather than creating new ones, the less ecological harm we will cause.

We, the undersigned, urge The Clorox Company to take responsibility for the millions of plastic filter cartridges that are landfilled or incinerated each year by:

1) Redesigning its Brita filter cartridges so that the plastic housing can be refilled rather than discarded each time the filter is changed.

2) Providing a take-back program, such as the one that exists in Europe, so that used cartridges can be returned to the company for recycling.

3) Creating a system for the cartridges to be dismantled and the components recycled/reused domestically rather than landfilled, incinerated, or shipped overseas.

Kudos and Namaste to Beth in CA who is testimonial to the quote by Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens [or even one person!] can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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