Preserve, a producer of sustainable consumer goods such as personal care, kitchenware and tableware items, has launched a marketing partnership with plastic packaging manufacturer Berry Plastics Group, Inc. The partnership will focus on enhancing the awareness of the recyclability of #5 plastic and of Preserve’s Gimme 5 program.
Through the Gimme 5 program, consumers can recycle their #5 plastics, a type that many towns and cities won’t recycle. Individuals have two ways to take part in #5 plastic (polypropylene) recycling: they can place their #5 plastic in specified recycling bins at participating retail locations or mail them directly to Preserve.
In turn, Preserve collects the #5 plastic, sorts it, cleans it, tests it, recycles it, and turns it into new Preserve products like toothbrushes and cutting boards.
Since 2008, Gimme 5 participants have dropped off more than 250 tons of recycled yogurt cups, butter and cottage cheese containers and other #5 plastic packages at the more than 245 Whole Foods Market stores and independent cooperative markets, Preserve says.
Jon Rich, chairman and CEO of Berry Plastics, says that more than 62% of Americans now have access to at least one avenue available for recycling polypropylene. “Even though recycling venues have increased, at Berry Plastics we believe it is prudent to do our part to encourage recycling and to promote the available recycling avenues,” he adds. Working with Preserve and the Gimme 5 program, Berry Plastics says it has the opportunity to help educate the public on a viable second life for the company’s products.
Polypropylene is gradually becoming more accepted by recyclers, The Daily Green says.
Stonyfield Organics, also a Gimme 5 partner, uses #5 plastic for its yogurt containers. The company says that in 1992, the Tellus Institute Packaging Study revealed a strong correlation between lightness in packaging weight and environmental friendliness. As a result, the company converted all of its HDPE #2 plastic to #5, the lightest-weight plastic that would protect the product. Today, the company’s quart containers are more than 30% lighter than when they were made using #2 plastic, preventing the manufacture and disposal of hundreds of tons of plastic per year, the company says. Stonyfield yogurt cups can be recycled at Gimme 5 bins, or sent directly back to Stonyfield for recycling.