Buckinghamshire Council has worked with FCC Environment and BRITA to become the first in the UK to accept BRITA water filters for recycling at its Household Recycling Centres.

With many residents becoming more conscious of their environmental impact, and many parts of Buckinghamshire having very hard water, more and more people are choosing to use a water filter jug rather than buying bottled water. Now, new collections points for BRITA water filters have been added at five Household Recycling Centres in Buckinghamshire.

The used cartridges will be returned to the BRITA regeneration plant in Germany on the same trucks that deliver the filters to the UK. The filters will be dismantled, and the ion exchange resin and activated carbon inside the filter are separated.

The activated carbon will be returned to the original suppliers, who reprocess it and use it again for various filter processes, such as wastewater treatment. The ion exchange resin is regenerated by BRITA in-house and used to make new cartridges.

The plastic housing is recycled for use in other plastic products. The mesh attached to the plastic housing is the only part which cannot be recycled and accounts for just 1% of the entire filter cartridge. This mesh material is sorted out from the plastic housing and disposed of responsibly at an energy from waste facility.

Peter Strachan, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment, said:

“We always strive to help residents recycle more and this joint work with BRITA and FCC Environment is a great example. We already accept more than 25 different waste streams at the recycling centres, which recycled 67% of waste last year. Adding BRITA filters to that list is another way to help residents recycle more.”

James Reseigh, FCC HRC Contract Manager, commented:

“FCC Environment are continually looking for ways to increase recycling and improve the service provided for our clients. We are proud to help Buckinghamshire recycling centres to be the first in the UK to introduce the new BRITA recycling containers, helping to make it easier for Buckinghamshire residents to recycle even more.”

Next time you go to buy a bottle of water, it’s worth remembering that the carbon footprint of one litre of BRITA filtered water is 25 times smaller than that of bottled water.

You can find out more and watch a video explaining the BRITA recycling process here: www.recycleforbuckinghamshire.co.uk/what-happens-to-your-waste/brita-filters