The 411 on recycling bottle caps…

beach trshDid you know that bottle caps are the second most littered items behind cigarette butts?  Did you also know that bottle caps are one of the top ten most common items found littered on beaches? Sad, isn’t it?

Most people might not give much thought to these little caps but they are becoming a big problem.  Overall, ALL types of caps are creating a problem because most of us don’t know whether or not they are recyclable.  Even if you’re like me and don’t buy bottled water or beverages in plastic bottles we all have mountains of caps that pass though our hands every day… everything from shampoo bottles to food product lids to soap and detergent containers.

So what do you do? Well, there are a few choices, so give these some thought:

  • Recycle with Aveda – these salons and stores will accept a variety of caps for recycling, including #5 twist caps, flips caps, jar lids and detergent lids and turn them into new lids for their products.  Find a location near you!
  • Recycle with Preserve – they also accept any #5 plastics (including yogurt containers) via mail or at any Whole Foods location and turn them into new Preserve products like toothbrush and razor handles, tableware and kitchenware.PVC cap
  • Give your local recycling a try – it’s sometimes difficult to figure out if your curbside recycling can actually recycle these caps but, if nothing else, include them in your recycling.  They cannot be processed with a batch of #1 and #2 commonly recycled plastics because there is a 100 degree difference in their melting points.  But if they can’t recycle them, they will be removed and at least properly disposed of, which is certainly better than letting them become litter!  Just make sure you detached the lids and caps from the container so they can be easily sorted out at the recycling facility.

So, what can’t be accepted? Well, that would be medication bottle caps, metals lids, pumps and sprayers.  These are unfortunately destined for the garbage can so, whenever possible, make wise choices when you make purchases.  Remember that buying larger containers means fewer lids too!

That’s it… the real deal on caps and lids.  Let’s just do our part to make sure we help remove them from any “most littered lists!”

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"Going green" has always been a part of my daily life. It began, as a little girl, when I helped my mom gather the recyclables and deliver them to a recycling center. It continues today, as a mom myself, when I teach my own children those same responsible virtues.

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2 thoughts on “The 411 on recycling bottle caps…

  1. The author missed the posibility to upcycle. The teen and preteen crowd may find these colorful items full of possibilities; colorful beads in a necklace, laced over a bottle in a net patern they become a part of a musical intrument. Those same caps could be protective caps for chair and table legs. Saw a craft show where creamer containers like those at restraunts were used to make little “Snoopy” dogs by adding eyes and felt pieces. What we should encourage is for those with school aged children to look closer at thier recycling bins. About now phone books are due to be replaced. Hundreds or thousands of sheets of paper waiting for a second life.

  2. Poet – absolutely! I’m always an advocate of upcycling… found in many posts. These were ideas for “big kid” readers, but it is a given that anything in our home is a candidate for upcycling… always!

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