Thursday, February 19, 2009

Aveda & Clean Ocean Action Team Up to Recycle Bottle Caps in NJ

Ocean Protection Group Offers Bottle Cap Recycling Contest
by Trey Granger,
February 19th, 2009

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.

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.

Click here for more information about the contest.

The family that started the contest - and collected the 75,000 bottle caps!

Recycle caps for clean ocean, beaches
The Hub, February 12, 2009

SANDY HOOK, NJ — The Wolfe family of Fair Haven has jump-started a new environmental program aimed at keeping plastic lids from littering the ocean and beaches.

Casey, 12, and James, 9, have introduced Clean Ocean Action's (COA) "Flip Lids for the Ocean" contest to their schoolmates, resulting in the collection of more than 75,000 plastic caps for recycling.

COA's new recycling contest is being held in association with the first caps recycling program in the United States being pioneered by beauty care company Aveda.

COA is inviting schools, community groups, businesses and families to join the ocean advocacy group's Flip Lids for the Ocean contest.

On learning about Aveda's Caps Recycling Program, the Wolfe family jumped into action, organizing caps collection programs in several Monmouth County schools and businesses.

"Learning that caps are not recycled and knowing what a responsibility we have to this planet and all of its inhabitants, I knew we had to get behind Aveda and Clean Ocean Action and support their efforts, said Patty Wolfe.

"This program is great for children who love marine life and nature, but often feel they cannot make a difference on their own. My two children, Casey and James, are wild about the environment. They brought the caps campaign to the Ranney School in Tinton Falls, where they are in the eighth and fourth grades," she said.

"Patty and our young ocean advocates Casey and James are leading us into the next wave of ocean advocacy. 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," said COA Executive Director Cindy Zipf.

Aveda founded the unique recycling program that creates new caps out of 100 percent recycled caps. The breakthrough recycling program helps save marine life by reducing the amount of caps littering beaches and oceans.

According to COA, children from across the region have responded with enthusiasm to the challenge to reduce marine debris by collecting plastic caps for recycling. The ultimate goal of this program is to raise awareness about plastic litter and to reduce the use of plastics in our daily lives.

Facts to flipping lids: • Did you know that the majority of plastic bottle caps do not get recycled? Instead, often these caps become trash or litter, ending up in landfills and on beaches, or washing into rivers and oceans. Birds and marine life mistake caps for food with tragic results. The magnitude of this pollution problem is devastating to oceans and wildlife.

• During the recycling

process, caps are sorted from the bottles and discarded as garbage. In some circumstances, if a cap does not come off a bottle during compression, the entire bottle is discarded.

It's simple to start collecting — keep a running count of the caps collected (the contest is based on the honor system). Final tallies are due to COA May 1 at 5 p.m.

The winners of the contest will be announced at the Clean Ocean Action Family Beach Ball for the Ocean at Ship Ahoy Beach Club in Sea Bright on May 17. Green prizes will be awarded from cash donations made by tristate businesses also participating in the program.

Participants must register at or with Carl Guastaferro, contest coordinator, at 732- 872-0111. A "Recycle Caps" welcome packet will be sent to participants upon registration, as well as details concerning prepaid shipping information.

Caps accepted for recycling are rigid polypropylene plastic, sometimes noted with a "5" in the chasing arrows recycling symbol. This includes caps that twist on with a threaded neck such as caps on shampoo, water, soda, milk and other beverage bottles, flip-top caps on tubes and food product bottles (such as ketchup and mayonnaise), laundry detergents and some jar lids such as peanut butter.

Excluded from collection are pharmaceutical lids and nonrigid lids such as yogurt lids, tub lids (margarine, cottage cheese), and screw-on lids that are not rigid. If you can bend or break the lid with your bare hands, then it does not meet the rigid plastic definition. Please do not include any metal lids or plastic pumps or sprayers. Unfortunately, too much of the wrong types of materials can contaminate the recycling process.

For information, contact Jennifer Smiga, COA's events and development director at 732- 872-0111 or e-mail

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