Factsheets > Water Filter Recycling

Bottled Water:

Each year 2.5 million tonnes of plastic is sent to landfill. However the amount of plastic being recycled is rising and the amount of plastic recycling companies has tripled in the past 15 years.

There is a growing trend for use of bottled water over tap water. With many people perceiving bottled water to contain fewer contaminates and pollutants.

However this is generally untrue; local water companies must adhere to strict regulations regarding the quality of water they produce. Where as bottled water companies often have far lower standards, with an estimated 25% of bottled water really being just tap water in a bottle with no further treatment and one in 10 bottles containing more bacteria than allowed under micro purity guidelines.

A study in New York found that 75% of people preferred the taste of tap water to bottled water at the same temperature. The study concluded that the temperature of the water has a large effect of its perceived taste.

Once used the bottles have to be disposed of. Most plastic bottles end up in landfill where they can become an environmental problem as they leach pollutants and chemicals.

Using water filters helps to avoid excessive use of plastic and gives many benefits such as: Better tasting and smelling water, Less chlorine and bacterial contaminants, balances the ph, fewer heavy metals such as lead and copper and will generally lead to improved health.



How To Recycle:

The plastic in the water filter can be collected and recycled like any other plastic. The problem however is with the activated carbon within the filter, as this needs special treatment before it can be used again.

There are two ways to recycle activated carbon:
With heat
With steam

Recycling with heat:
Stage 1 - The carbon is dried

Stage 2 - It is then pre heated so the impurities become carbonised

Stage 3 - The carbon is then re activated around 700-1000°C in an oxygen free environment to ensure the carbon does no ignite. The impurities become gas and are drawn away to be incinerated so any dangerous chemicals are not released in to the environment.

Stage 4 - The carbon is then able to be re-used

Recycling with steam:
Stage 1 - The carbon is rinsed in warm water

Stage 2 - The carbon is then set in boiling water for 10-15minutes

Stage 3 - The carbon is then baked in an oven for 2-3 hours and the steam that is produced carries away impurities

Stage 4 - The carbon is then able to be re-used



A message from Brita:

Here at BRITA we do take our responsibility to environmental issues very seriously and in line with growing consumer demand for greener living,


BRITA has launched a new in store recycling scheme. Recycling bins are now situated in a range of high street stores such as Robert Dyas, Argos and Cargo. Other major retailer collection points will be following soon.


The BRITA branded bins will be located next to the existing water filter category in store. Customers can recycle any BRITA consumer product filter cartridge, including those for the new BRITA water filter taps.


For further information regarding this scheme please contact the BRITACare department on 0844 742 4800.

01743 343403