Ocean Protection Group Offers Bottle Cap Recycling Contest

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Clean Ocean Action (COA), a group dedicated to improve water quality on the New Jersey and New York coasts,  launched a recycling campaign to encourage New Jersey businesses and schools to collect plastic bottle caps and prevent them from becoming marine debris.

The contest runs through May 17, and the teams who collect the most caps will receive green prizes funded by donations from local businesses. The caps will then be sent to Aveda, who will recycle the plastic caps into new caps.

Got 75,000 caps you need to recycle? Take them to locations that recycle plastic #5, like Aveda, to prevent marine animals from making them a snack. Photo: Surfrider.org

Got 75,000 caps you need to recycle? Take them to locations that recycle plastic #5, like Aveda, to prevent marine animals from making them a snack. Photo: Surfrider.org

One New Jersey family has already collected 75,000 caps with the help of the Monmouth County school system. Regarding this effort, COA Executive Director Cindy Zipf said, “Reduce, reuse and recycle themes are essential for us to protect the health of the ocean. We applaud their seaworthy efforts to protect their planet and inspire.”

Because bottle caps are made from a different resin than the bottles themselves, they can’t be recycled with the containers. Caps are often removed and thrown away by most recycling programs, and their small size and light weight allow them to wash into waterways during rainfall.

In 2007, the COA spent two days picking up beach debris and found 33,274 caps and lids that can be mistaken as food by marine life.

Cap collectors from across the country can take plastic caps into Aveda locations to be recycled. You can also use Earth911 to find out if your local recycler requires caps to be removed from plastic bottles before you turn them in.

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Trey Granger

Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.
Trey Granger