Good Matters™ Blog

Posted on November 4th, 2010

Tom’s Partnership with the Preserve® Gimme 5 Recycling Program

Posted by Fiona, Brand Manager

For me and the people I work with at Tom’s of Maine, making great natural deodorant isn’t just about the deodorant! We care about the green space around us and do our best to maximize recycled content and recyclability of our deodorant packaging – helping to reduce our impact on the landfill.

Recycle & Reuse our packaging: Usually the deodorant stick packaging that you see on the shelf is made up of many different components, each made of different plastic. This means you can’t just throw it in your recycling bin as it would contaminate the recycling stream. Tom’s deodorant packaging is different. We worked with our suppliers to develop a stick deodorant package that is made of a single type of plastic (100% #5 plastic). We tested the package thoroughly to make sure that it still functioned properly and that you could actually get the deodorant out of the package. We worked to incorporate recycled plastic content in the mix – plastic which came, for example, from deodorant packaging that would otherwise have gone into a landfill.

But making the container “recyclable” doesn’t complete the recycling loop. Many communities don’t accept the #5 plastics, simply because there isn’t enough demand to make the economics work. That’s why this year Tom’s joined the Preserve® Gimme 5 recycling program as a supporting partner of Preserve®, Brita®, Stonyfield Farm, and Whole Foods Market® stores. Your #5 plastic is collected at participating Whole Foods Market® store locations, and is then made into new household products like toothbrushes and razors. In the first half of this year, 56,000 pounds of #5 plastic has been collected. That’s the same as keeping 700,000 Tom’s deodorant containers from being dumped in the trash.

So where do we go from here? We’re currently working on ways that we can use the #5 plastic from Preserve® Gimme 5’s great recycling program to make new Tom’s of Maine deodorant packaging. It’s been a step by step journey to get us to where we are with our packaging today. We know it will be a continuous journey to always do better, but I think our involvement with the Preserve® Gimme 5 program is a great example of how at Tom’s we walk the walk and not so much of the trash talk :)

You can help Preserve® Gimme 5 recycling program recycle more than 100,000 pounds of #5 plastic by the end of 2010! Click here for more details on how to get involved.

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