Putting a Lid on Bottle Cap Waste

Posted by on July 22, 2011

Blaine students collect caps for Aveda’s recycling initiative

Students in a Global Citizenship class at Minnesota School of Business-Blaine partnered with Aveda—a leader in environmental beauty products—in addressing the harmful environmental impact of bottle caps.

In support of Aveda’s “Recycle Caps” program, the class enrolled the campus as an official bottle cap drop-off site—placing a collection receptacle in the student commons.

“Often times, we are so focused on the negative things that happen in our society, the positive things get overlooked,” said Julie Kresh, service-learning coordinator.

In their research, students learned most bottle caps are not recycled due to the extra costs involved with melting them. Hard and soft plastics cannot mix during processing or machinery designed to handle soft plastics could be harmed.

Caps also present a huge litter problem at beaches and in bodies of water. They can adversely affect wildlife, as birds and other animals mistake the caps for food and swallow them, frequently with fatal results.

To solicit participation in the recycling initiative, the students made a presentation to faculty and staff and sent emails to the whole campus community.

“Just doing the smallest things to help the environment can make a big difference in the world we all have to live in,” said student Sarah Gibb. “Helping out the community is a really rewarding process.”

Bottle caps continue to be collected at the campus.

“This was a great learning experience that will stick with me for life,” noted student Brian Oseth.

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