Whole Foods Teams with New 'Gimme 5' Recycling Program


Did you know most yogurt and cottage cheese containers and other polypropylene #5 plastics end up in landfills? The plastic made from our chemical industries cannot be recycled and yet this is the material selected to package so much of our food items (think hummus and ice cream), medicine and restaurant take-out boxes.

A new effort to salvage and reuse the containers has been announced by the company, Preserve, which is creating stylish household products out of 100% recycled plastics.


It’s called the‘ Gimme 5’ recycling program and it lets consumers either ship their containers to Preserve in Cortland, New York, or drop them off at participating Whole Foods Markets. Preserve is offering the program in a partnership with Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley. The Whole Foods Markets with the convenient drop-off locations are in Northern California, the Midwest and Northwest. Whole Foods in Florida will also get in on the act later this month. Having the recycle bins at the markets makes it easier for us, the consumers, to do the right thing. It can be too easy to toss these food containers in our home recycling bins and hope for the best, not realizing they aren’t breaking down in our lifetime.

In addition to the plastics, Preserve says you can bring in your Brita water pitcher filters, which along with the recycled plastic is used to make toothbrushes, razors and tableware. According to Preserve, when you buy Preserve Plastic instead of the virgin polypropylene you are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions (64%). We also benefit from reduced water, electricity, oil and coal that is used in making the plastic to house food. To lean more about the “Gimme 5” program and see if the Whole Foods near you is participating, visit Preserve Products.

Image: Thee Erin

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.