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7 Tips on How to Recycle a Brita Filter Properly

Brita water filter in use

Brita filters do not last forever. Eventually, you will have to buy new filters to replace the old ones. Brita recommends you change your filters after every two months. So, what should one do with the used filters? You may be tempted to trash your Brita filters, but this is not recommended. The filters can harm the environment.

If you own a used Brita water filter and are wondering how best to dispose of it, let this article be your guide. We will discuss whether it is possible to recycle Brita filters and how best to go about it. Read on to learn more!

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Are Brita Water Filters Recyclable?

This is a valid question because most water filters are made from hard plastic materials. Brita filters consist of type 5 plastic, which is not recycled by most companies. Filters also tend to contain a lot of contaminants, so much so that during recycling, other recyclable materials can get damaged by the contaminants. These issues make it quite challenging to recycle plastic water filters.

Fortunately, due to the collaborative efforts between the company that manufactures Brita filters and TerraCycle, you can now recycle Brita water filters!

TerraCycle is a company whose focus is recycling plastic products. Due to their partnership with Brita, customers can now recycle their Brita filters for free. Just join the program, and you are all set.

Through Brita’s recycling program, the plastic products you can recycle include Brita steam pitchers, Brita dispensers, bottles, and pitchers. You can also recycle standard filters, Brita filter packaging, steam filters, bottle filters, and Brita long-last filters. To properly recycle these products, ensure that the waste products are well packaged before shipping.

The 7 Tips How to Recycle Brita Filters

1. Dry Up Your Filter

Before shipping any Brita products, ensure that you thoroughly clean them. Let it dry for at least three days to remove any lingering moisture on the surface (however, it’s best to leave it for 5–6 days for perfect dryness). Since the filter comes in a closed system, it is quite difficult to dry the inside by hand. So, it’s best to place the filter in a well-ventilated area to dry out.

2. Dirt and Germ Cleaning

The next step is to remove dirt and germs from your Brita filters. Use a washed cloth because a damp cloth will only add moisture to the filter’s surface. This step is important because it prevents contamination of other Brita products at the recycling plant.

3. Cover With a Pliable Bag

After your Brita filters are clean, dry, and germ-free, cover them with a pliable bag. A standard pliable shopping bag will suffice. Once covered, immediately strap the handles for extra security. If there is any flowing plastic cover, roll it around the filter. Also, if you intend to ship multiple filters, ensure they are covered separately.

4. Enroll at TerraCycle

After your filters are safely packaged for shipping, proceed to Brita’s website to register for the free recycling scheme. You can sign up by keying in your details. Once you register for the recycling scheme, Brita offers receivable reward points. These points give you a discount for future pickups of Brita products. If you are disinterested in enrolling in Brita’s recycling scheme, you can always personally ship your filters directly to them at your own cost.

5. Packaging

The best way to package Brita products for shipping is by using a freighting box or a small cardboard box. You can get these packaging products from your local post office or shipping company. Then seal the box with regular tape.

6. Labeling

The label of your package should be placed on your shipping box on the top side. However, do not write anything on the label.

7. Dropping Off the Package

After you have carefully wrapped tour filters, packaged them, and added a label, transport your package to your closest UPS store. UPS will then ship your package to TerraCycle for recycling.

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Recycling At a Workshop

This is the second method of recycling Brita products. It involves recycling your plastic products at a workshop near you. Pack your Brita filters, and Google any recycling shop near you. If you find one, contact them to confirm your filter composition, then hand them the package after they confirm that they can recycle your filters.

What Are Brita Products Recycled Into?

The program gives new purpose to old Brita products by reinventing them into other products. Once the company has gathered all your water plastics, they separate Brita products from the rest of the waste through composition. Brita products are then shredded and molded into new but recycled products. The company also isolates carbon filters for later use in polymers.

You will be surprised to learn that recycled Brita filters can make beautiful products with various shapes and sizes, previously unthought-off. For instance, recycled Brita products can make portable water bottles, bike racks, and pitchers inside fridges. The recycled Brita filters can also make new products, such as plastic toothbrushes, watering cans, cutting boards, and razor handles. Even more amazing, the recycled products can be recycled again.

Are There Other Methods of Disposing of Brita Filters?

As you may have discovered, Brita filters have a very short lifespan, about two months. Sure, you can try to recycle by joining Brita’s recycling program. However, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of drifting your Brita products to TerraCycle, there are some safe options you can utilize to dispose of your filters.

If you don’t want or are unwilling to recycle Brita filters, you can always give them to plastic manufacturers. Plastic producers will degrade the materials and mold them into other useful products.

Trash It

Though not recommended for environmental concerns, you can also opt to trash used Brita filters. After trashing your filters, place them in a plastic bag, seal them and drop them in a garbage bag. This way, you limit the chance of contaminants from your filter spilling out to other objects.

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One of the biggest concerns about using water filters is finding a proper disposal method. While recycling may be the best option, not all manufacturers run recycling programs. Fortunately, due to a partnership with TerraCycle, Brita customers can easily recycle their Brita filters through their free recycling program.

If this is not possible, all you can do is trash your used Brita filters. However, ensure they are well covered and sealed to prevent contaminants from spilling out. Now that you have the knowledge, we hope you will take this step to keep the environment safe for future generations.

Featured Image Credit: Brita water filter in use (BrokenSphere, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)


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