Recycling #5 plastic has never been easier or more rewarding
Stonyfield Farm makes tasty yogurt– that much you know. But what about the yogurt cup? Is there more to the container with that cow staring back at me? Well there is – it’s the #5 plastic that the 6 oz. and 32 oz. Stonyfield yogurt containers are made from.
A few years back, Stonyfield Farm was looking to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging. They chose polypropylene #5 — the lightest-weight plastic that would protect their product. By switching from #2 to #5, Stonyfield prevents the manufacture and disposal of hundreds of tons of plastic per year.
That’s when Preserve came in the picture and the union with Stonyfield began. Since then, Preserve has been collecting #5 plastic yogurt cups from our neighbors in New Hampshire and turning them into Preserve Toothbrushes and Razors. Little did we know back then that years down the road the creation and evolution of the Gimme 5 program would strengthen our ties as we worked together to provide a solution for #5 plastic recycling.
The Preserve Gimme 5 program has been collecting #5 plastic (including yogurt cups) since 2009. In its first year, Gimme 5 collected more than 45,000 pounds of materials. In 2010, the program has more than doubled that volume by collecting 100,000 pounds of #5 plastic thanks to an expanded number of Gimme 5 drop-off locations at Whole Foods Market stores across the nation and even higher levels of participation at existing locations.
“We want to thank all those Gimme 5 recyclers out there who have supported and helped to grow this program. Gimme 5’ers have demonstrated that recycling makes sense – it’s better for the earth than tossing the used packages and prevents additional mining for the oil and gas needed to create plastics. Preserve has supported this program with Life Cycle Assessment tools that demonstrate that the Gimme 5 program is better from start to finish than sending perfectly reusable resources to landfills. 50 Tons of Thanks for your efforts for the earth.”