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 snopes.com (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 (Earth911.com) and take your bottle caps in. They will recycle them, turning the caps into new packaging for the Aveda hair products.





Peer Knowledge

6 12 2011

What I thought was interesting is the lack of knowledge by my very own peers at Chapman University about the process of recycling bottle caps and the harm it does.  Mentioning this topic to my Internet Communications class, only one hand went up indicating that the student was aware of the proper disposal of plastic bottles and their tops, and the reason why they can not be recycled together.  Surveying 15 other random people on campus, I found that fourteen out of fifteen recycle plastic bottles.  Three students take the caps off the bottles before recycling, while eleven leave the cap on and one does not take it off, but does not put it back on if the cap is already off. Two of the three students who do take the cap off, throw the cap away in the trash, while only one student put it in the recycling bin, fully informed of the reasons behind this recycling process.  The majority of people do not take the caps off for reasons such as: “I’m too lazy”, “It’s easier”, “You assume they want the whole bottle”, “The cap is plastic too”, and “I don’t want them loose in the bag.”

What Chapman University and the rest of society needs, is knowledge on the topic of recycling plastics.  I believe a lot of these people would care more and do the right thing if they were taught properly on how and what to recycle. The way in which society is recycling is just habit and due to a lack of knowledge.  I believe that if Chapman gets on board, the word can quickly spread as students tell their family and friends who do the same thing, creating a sustainable society.





Cap Collecting

6 12 2011

What to throw away, what to recycle, and how to go about these processes can sometimes be controversial, even when talking to people in the recycling business.  Through research on the topic, I have discovered that leaving the caps screwed onto the bottles takes the bottles out of the recycling process, and straight to landfills.

What I am asking, is for everyone to be more informed about this topic so our recycling efforts do not go to waste.  To begin this process, I would like to start small with the Chapman University community.  I am requesting Jerry Price, the Dean of Students, to help me in this effort by printing signs for each recycling bin to inform the students that bottle caps need to be taken off, but may still be thrown in with the recycle bin.  I feel as though Dean Price would help me out with my efforts because he is very supportive of the student body and cares very much about meeting the needs of Chapman’s students.  Our campus has a goal to be as sustainable as it can be, so why not make cap removal a habit?

I am writing this blog to inform my readers about the importance of recycling and the correct way to do so.  I originally hoped to collect bottle caps and turn them in for money to be donated towards breast cancer research, but it turns out there are not facilities that do this.  Instead, I will tell my readers about the causes they can donate these caps to, and the locations that accept plastic bottle caps.