In 2007, in order to help consumers “close the loop” in their products’ lifespans, we took our business a step further and developed the Gimme 5 recycling takeback program, enabling individuals, companies, and institutions to collect and recycle #5 polypropylene plastic. Through our partnership with Whole Foods Market, we were are able to use their stores as drop-off locations, and utilize existing recycling infrastructure to reclaim the #5 plastic. Once our recycling centers received the materials, we were able to create new Preserve products right here in the U.S., incorporating that material.
Why #5? Polypropylene is one of the safest plastics, but also one of the least recycled plastics. Many municipal recycling systems do not collect #5 as widely as #1 and #2. Through the Gimme 5 program, we sought to not only raise awareness and accessibility, but using this collected material also cuts resource usage by about half, compared to newly-produced (virgin) #5 plastic. We sort, wash, melt, pelletize and test the collected material, allowing us to turn the once used plastic into raw materials to create beautiful, new Preserve products and other useful products in the USA.
How Gimme 5 Looks Now
While our public collection bins have gone away from Whole Foods Stores, the Gimme 5 program lives on by mail. We ensure that clean, rigid #5 plastic that we receive from you gets recycled, becoming new products, all made in the USA.
Please note that as of November 27, 2020, we had to pause our Gimme 5 mail in program due to logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank you for not making any Gimme 5 shipments for now. Our hope is to reopen the program by September 1, 2021. We will provide an update by July 1, 2021 on whether we will be able to meet this target. Thank you for your understanding!