12 12 2011

If the bottle caps for chemotherapy treatment plan falls through and you don’t want to take them to the Aveda Experience Center, I thought of another idea for you.  Bottle Cap Art! Here is some inspiration, but you can get creative with it.  You might as well recycle the bottle caps for yourself into something pretty or useful so they don’t go straight to the landfills!




What do you think?

12 12 2011

How To Recycle Plastics Properly

12 12 2011

One Step Closer

9 12 2011

The friend whose work collects bottle caps for chemotherapy treatments got back to me.  She told me:

“They send them into the Vanderbilt Medical Center in Tennessee and every 1000 bottle caps gives one patient a chemotherapy treatment.”

I called the center today and the man on the help line was unsure.  He told me he has heard about these collections but also heard that many were not true.  He is getting back to me after he collects information from his coworkers, so I am excited to find out on Monday!

Do Your Part

9 12 2011

My focus is spreading the knowledge about bottle caps and their recycling process, but while doing this research, I found some other interesting facts about recycling that surprised me.

My mom always told me to rinse out the milk jug, my soda bottle, and other recyclable things, but I thought it was just so our house did not get ants and the little bits of leftovers in the bottles did not mold.

According to as well as many other sites, I found that even just one item that still has waste in it can pollute the entire batch of recyclables (each batch being thousands of pounds), and is taken to the landfill not recycled.

Along with recycling properly, I try and do my part by reducing what I use.  One and a half million barrels of oil are used to make a years supply of waterbottles, and all this plastic is hurting our environment.  Rather than decomposing, plastic goes through photo degradation which breaks the plastic down into smaller and smaller pieces but never is really gone.  Even the process of photo degradation takes hundreds of years. The plastic is hurting the Earth’s animals in the water, on land and in air.  The picture below is of a baby albatross bird that was fed plastic mistaken for food by its parents. In its decomposing body, you can see that the plastic is still there, and hasn’t changed from its original forms in the slightest.

The average recycling rate that is remaining pretty steady throughout the years is 27%.  This resulted in 2,480,000 tons of plastic being thrown away in 2008 (recorded by the Environmental Protection Agency). Sixty million single-use drink containers were purchased in 2006, with 3 out of every 4 being thrown away right after the beverage was consumed.

Plastic bottles are the most common source of pollution found on the beaches and every square mile of water is said to have 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it. ( Animals are dying painful deaths due to what they ingest.

So why not use reusable water bottles? There is less waste created, there are no worries about which recycling centers take the caps, and considering the US spent $100 billion on bottled water in 2006 (, it would save everyone a lot of money!

A Cause for the Cap Collection

8 12 2011

My #intcom class has a deep place in their hearts for breast cancer.  We all own pink pens thanks to our professor (@coryOConnor) who practically bought out the pink breast cancer center of Staples, and we all did our best to tweet #projectpink whenever we could, donating money towards breast cancer, sponsored by Puma.  That being said, I would love to donate these bottle caps to an organization sponsoring breast cancer, or turn them in somewhere for money so I can donate on behalf of the Chapman students!

Unfortunately, I am not having much luck.  Malia Walker, the woman I interviewed from the Waste Management of Orange County also told me there is no place she knows of where I can turn the caps in for money.  I found a few websites online about donating the caps to provide a session of chemotherapy for a patient, but looking at (a site uncovering rumors), it is apparently not true.  As I began to think my goal was impossible, I walked into a meeting on campus and a girl was carrying a handful of plastic bottle caps, ready to bring into her work where they were donating them to provide a friend with chemotherapy.  I told her about my blog and findings but she told me that she knows it provided the patient chemotherapy because they have provided enough caps to already give him a session.  She is checking with her work today about the contact information and exact details, so I am very excited to hear back about that!

Another option for those of you who may want to donate these caps rather than just throw them in the recycle bin (unscrewed of course), is to donate them to Aveda.  Find the closest Aveda Experience Center on the Internet ( and take your bottle caps in. They will recycle them, turning the caps into new packaging for the Aveda hair products.

Plethora of Plastics

7 12 2011

Each type of plastic is marked with a number inside of a triangular shape made of arrows.  This number is the resin identification code (RIC).  These numbers range from 1-7 and all represent different types of plastics, with different melting points.

Bottle caps generally have an RIC of 5.  Not every recycling center has the capabilities to recycle this type of plastic, but the centers that do take ths plastic are growing in numbers. This plastic is called Polypropylene and is also used to make things like yogurt containers, syrup bottles, catsup bottles, some straws, and prescription medicine bottles as shown in the picture below.

Not only can the mixture of bottle caps and their bottles be a danger to the workers and the machines, but also, a very small amount of the wrong plastic can contaminate an entire batch of plastic being recycled. To find out which recycling centers nearby take the types of plastics you are in need of recycling, check  Here you can type in the area in which you live, as well as the types of things you are looking to recycle.  It brings up a list of the locations, with links to each center.

For those of you living in and around Orange County, CA, the closest places to bring plastic bottle caps would be the Aveda Experience Centers in Costa Mesa, Brea and Mission Viejo, Domestic Metals and Plastics in Long Beach, and Cactus Recycling Inc. in Paramount, CA.