Brita pitchers may help reduce the number of plastic bottles that are thrown away. If you filter your water beforehand and use a re-usable bottle, then you are preventing waste that way. The filters have also become quite recyclable. As for the ingredients inside, they will be transfered into another form of energy or regenerated. (If you are wondering about the pitcher specifically, check the bottom for the recycle number. #1, 2, or 5 for curbside recycling).
According to the Brita® website, “One Brita® pitcher filter can effectively replace as many as 300 standard 16.9-ounce bottles. One Brita® faucet filter can effectively replace as many as 750 standard 16.9-ounce bottles”. In this sense, there is a clear benefit to the environment as reusable containers contribute to less frequent waste.
However, Brita® filters are made with a #5 polypropylene plastic, which many municipal recycling programs do not accept. Brita® indicates that it has teamed up with another company to facilitate easy drop-off or mail-in options for filter recycling. The information on this program can be found at: http://www.brita.com/support/filter-recycling/ Also, the Brita® site does not mention the physical makeup of its pitchers and where they may be recycled.
You may want to look into other more permanent options that do not use plastics at all. Some of these options can be found at: http://www.mygreenbeginning.com/
I hope this helps to answer your question.
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