We all know (or should by now) that #1 PET plastic (think water/pop bottle) and #2 HDPE plastic (think milk jugs) get recycled regularly. And they should- they are great materials and recycling them saves energy and cuts the pipeline from the oil and gas well. Reuse and recycle them time and again. But pity poor #5 Polypropylene (think yogurt cup). Polypropylene – polypro to her friends- is a safe, durable useful material that can be made into everything from containers to toothbrushes to high performance athletic apparel. But polypro is way under-recycled. Fortunately that is changing.
A recent post in the Burlington Free Press focused on Greenopolis Partners Seventh Generation, Preserve Products, Stonyfield Organics and others, who are collaborating in a polypro recycling effort called Gimme 5.
Gimme 5 collects #5 plastic, from bottle caps, dishwashing liquid bottles, cottage cheese and margarine tubs, and yogurt cups – nearly any clean containers made from this nifty material.
The Gimme 5 bins can be found at many Whole Foods Markets, another Greenopolis partner. To date Gimme 5 bins can be found in 36 states across the country. You can also mail in your # 5 plastic to Gimme 5- that’s how badly they want your polypropylene!
“We like it because it fits in with our whole sustainability direction at Seventh Generation,” Peter Swaine, director of packaging and development at Seventh Generation, says in the article.
Preserve Products uses the polypropylene it collects to make toothbrushes, razors, spatulas, plates, bowls cups colanders and other useful household items. Those items can be sent back to Preserve and recycled into new ones at the end of their lifetimes as well.
So get with it. Don’t trash that #5- take it to your local Gimme 5 bin and give it another chance.