Here’s proof that one person can make a difference!
Last summer a mom from California started a petition on change.org asking Medela to uphold their motto of “Breastfeeding for Earth” and implement a breastpump recycling program. Over 2,000 people signed the petition, and Medela responded by launching a breastpump recycling program in January.
The Medela Recycles program intends to keep 12,000 breast pumps out of landfills by making it easy for moms to be eco-conscious in disposing of their breastpumps.
Also, in exchange for the breastpumps received through Medela Recycles, the company will donate hospital-grade Medela Symphony® Preemie+™ breastpumps and supplies to Ronald McDonald House Charities® for families with babies in NICU.
Actress and mother of two, Jenna von Oy, kicked off the campaign last month by donating two hospital grade pumps to her hometown Ronald McDonald House Charities.®
This is what Jenna had to say about the Medela Recycles program:
“I try hard to be eco-friendly, but sometimes you have to draw the line on things that don’t fit your lifestyle at all, but the recycling program is something that’s so easy! To turn in your breastpump so that it can be repurposed for someone in this way is a beautiful thing in terms of giving back. What else are you going to do with it? Let it stay it stay in your attic or go in a landfill? To me, this is the only choice.
I’m really excited to be a part of this campaign. My sister just announced that she’s pregnant, and I’m so excited that my girls are going to have their first cousin on my side! I have gifted her a Medela pump, but I sent it with the caveat that when she’s done with it she has to recycle it through the recycling program. I am definitely on board!”
How Does the Program Work?
The Medela electric motor unit and carry bag or housing is the portion being accepted by the company for third-party recycling of its components. (They will not be used to manufacture new pumps.) All the plastic pieces — breast shields, tubing, bottles, valves, etc. — are made of BPA-free polypropylene and most are labeled #5 for regular household recycling. The only exceptions are the 80mL storage container caps, the handle on the Harmony® breastpump and the soft cooler bag — those are combination plastics labeled #7.
Go to Medela Recycles and click on “Recycle Your Breastpump.” Follow the prompts to fill out the form. Print the shipping label from your computer — Medela covers the cost of shipping — and mail in the breast pump motor unit with carry bag or housing. Remember, all other parts labeled as #5 plastics can be recycled by you with your household recycling.
That’s it! Easy peasy. You can feel good about reducing waste and helping NICU babies and their moms. Don’t forget to spread the word to friends and family!