Sunday, May 11, 2008

Brita: Take Back the Filter

I subscribe to an e-newsletter from the Organic Consumers Association. The latest edition had the following call to action that I thought my gentle readers might find interesting.

You probably didn't know that Brita, America's #1 water filter, is owned by Clorox. Brita helps its customers feel good about filtering water without buying untold numbers of plastic bottles. Indeed, the Brita filter option is much better than purchasing bottled water. With that said, the U.S. version of the Brita filter is currently designed to be disposable. Hundreds of thousands of plastic Brita filters needlessly flow into U.S. landfills, while in Europe, the same company is providing those cartridges in a recyclable form. As a result, Brita is currently being pressured by consumers and to change its policies. Learn more about how you can send in your used Brita filters to pressure the company to make the green shift:

The post sounds a little conflicted, like it sort of thinks that Brita filters are just a sham, but what if they're not? Like maybe they want to say the truly righteous path would be to take action to make your local water supply safe to drink straight from the tap for everyone including people who can't afford bottled water or Brita filters. Maybe while you're lobbying for safe water, you can also lobby for recyclable water filters.

Edited to Add 5/22/2008:

An update from the Organic Consumers Association:

READER'S QUESTION: A reader writes to us regarding our article calling on readers to pressure Brita to begin recycling their water filters, as they do in Europe: "I do happen to use the Brita filter system. It would be wonderful if the Brita company did do recycled water filters. However, I do not know of any other water filtration, or water filter systems who do have a recycled filter system in place. Are you aware of any? Frankly, I felt I was doing so well with water filter systems as opposed to packaged bottle water, that I did not really think about how the filters could be 'recycled manufactured'."

OCA RESPONSE: Yes, as noted in our article, using the Brita water filtration systems is a much better option, environmentally speaking, than buying bottled water. As for companies that offer home water filter recycling, you could check out & If you have a Brita system already, you can send those used filters to

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