Preserve® makes stylish, eco-friendly products for your home. We strive to combine socially and environmentally responsible business practices with groundbreaking design to create our products. We believe that choosing eco-friendly products doesn't mean having to sacrifice quality, price, or performance. By using 100% recycled #5 plastic for our products, our approach is already one rooted in waste reduction. Beyond this, we exist to be a catalyst in making positive changes in consumer behavior so that we live within the resources of the planet. We do this through our initiatives like our Gimme 5 recycling program, and more recently through our introduction of Preserve Shareware.
Why #5 Plastic?
At Preserve, we are powered by the #5 plastic recycling efforts of individuals and companies. #5 plastic, (polypropylene), is one of the most commonly used plastics. It is found in everything from yogurt cups to medicine bottles, but less than 1% of it is recycled (according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency). According to American Chemistry Council’s National Recycling Reach report, fewer than 50% of US households have access to #5 recycling and the majority of towns that do collect #5 plastics, mix it into bales with other plastics (#3-#7) for export.
What is Gimme 5?
In 2009, Preserve launched a retail-based collection program at Whole Foods Market stores and coops around the country. Participating stores use specially designed recycling bins to engage consumers in recycling #5 plastic. The plastic is sorted and reprocessed in the USA into new products, thereby “closing the loop.” Gimme 5 has sparked the interest of hundreds of brands and manufacturers and is now in over 240 Whole Foods stores and natural foods coops nationwide. Together with our growing list of partners, including Stonyfield Farm, Brita, and Burt’s Bees, Gimme 5 has recycled more than 623,000 lbs of #5 plastic since the start of the program, the equivalent of 47 million yogurt cups! And for individuals who don’t have access to Gimme 5 retail recycling, we offer a mail-in option. We’ve seen individuals banding together with their schools, offices and faith communities to collect #5s and either deposit them at Gimme 5 bins or mail them in to us.
Gimme 5 also includes a mail in recycling program for our Preserve Toothbrush. The program has incredibly high engagement as approximately 18% of our users recycle. These active recyclers are ambassadors who encourage their family, friends, and neighbors to recycle and to actively seek recycled and recyclable products.
Why own one when your neighbor does?
Real waste reduction happens when consumers make the choice to buy less, not just buy greener. We already sell products that are designed to be reused thousands of times, and in this model of reuse we see an opportunity. What if some of the reuse is done by your friend or neighbor? Because most people don’t need more than a few sets of plates on a regular basis, in fall 2012 we launched “Preserve Shareware” which is a party kit consisting of Preserve tableware in a tote bag (also made from recycled plastic and made by our partner Blue Avocado). The kit provides all of the tableware needed for a party and is meant to be shared within communities. We have already heard many testimonials from Preservers who have shared our tableware within their communities, a great example of reuse and a smart choice of consumption reduction.
We are honored to be a finalist in the Green American People & Planet Awards. Thank you for reading about us. We hope you’ll check out how you can join Gimme 5 and become part of the change.