Plastic Caps Recycling

Plastic Caps Recycling

Project Goal: To recycle all the valuable Polypropylene & Polyethylene plastic caps, and prevent it from ending up as litter in our landfills and in our oceans.

Project Mission: To raise awareness about the environmental hazards caused by the plastic caps, and encourage citizens to voluntarily take action by participating in this Plastic Caps Recycle Project

The project began with our awareness campaign through various Medias – such as TV interviews, in-person presentations, news articles, blogs, social media, web advertising, art exhibits, community events, and so on, has reached thousands of people.  We are very happy with our awareness outreach efforts! We were able to collect about 300 lbs. of plastic caps. Plastic caps are very light weight, so this is a huge amount of caps that were 100% recycled and diverted away from the waste stream. However, the community participation is very low, mainly because of the “leave the caps on” messages from the curbside recycle collection.

As we had mentioned from the beginning of this campaign, “leave the caps on” process has resulted in only about 10% of the caps being recycled, and it is not a complete solution. 90% of the caps are still being wasted.

Challenge we face: Recyclers need thousands of pounds of caps to run through their machines, and our collection was not sufficient for recyclers to process.

While this program did not succeed to our satisfaction, and the manufacturing of mixed materials and recycling challenges continues, we are not discouraged and are focusing on building more responsible innovators so we can address environmental issues right at the source through our 3 new R’s – Rethink, Redesign, Restore with environmental sustainability in the core, and educating how to adopt biomimicry and green chemistry into development of products and solutions.

Simultaneously, we are also focusing on our “Striving for a Zero Waste Community” program,

Join us in our continued efforts, and support us to build many responsible innovators!

***This project has ended. Please do not ship the plastic caps to us as we have no means to recycle it now ***

Click here to read KTVU, Channel 2 News article

Green Kids Now’s Plastic Caps Project – KTVU – Channel 2 News Coverage
Presentation at the Fremont City Council Meeting – 09/17/2013
  1. Remove the plastic caps before placing the bottles in the recycle bin
  2. Rinse and clean the plastic caps
  3. Collect the plastic caps separately in your house
  4. Drop it off at the plastic caps drop-off locations

Plastic Bottles and Caps are NOT made from the same type of plastic. Here’s an example: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), or plastic #1, often comprises plastic bottles while polypropylene (PP), or plastic #5, often makes up the caps. Though #1 and #5 are still plastics, they have a different melting point, with a difference of nearly 160 degrees Fahrenheit between the two. If caps get mixed in with bottles, the entire batch may be ruined because there is un-melted plastic in the mix.

All plastics go through the same recycling process. They’re sorted, baled, screened to remove contaminants, washed, ground into flakes, separated from contaminants, dried, melted, filtered and formed into pellets. This is an expensive and time-consuming process, and recyclers want to make sure it’s worth it financially. Markets for different types of plastic vary around the country. it’s easy to infer that there’s a larger market for PET, which has a recycling rate of nearly 30.8 percent, than PP, which has a rate of less than 11 percent (based on 2012 APR report). So, if your city does not accept bottle caps, it could be because the benefit is not large enough to support the cost.

Marine pollution statistics shows that the plastic caps are one of the top 10 materials causing pollution and plastic caps litter has become a huge environmental hazard. So, Green Kids Now organization has decided to raise awareness on this issue, and encourage people to responsibily handle the plastic caps.

Green Kids Now, is providing an opportunity to further reduce plastic caps litter. We are recommending citizens to take the following actions and voluntarily participate in the Plastic Caps Recycling Project:

Join Us and Be Part of the Solution!

To understand plastic caps and its impact on our environment, please read Pavan Gowda’s blog:

Beware of Plastic lids and bottle caps!

Pavan wanted to raise awareness on this issue, and started the “Plastic Caps-an environmental hazard” project. He partnered with many other kids to collect plastic caps in their schools and homes since October 2012. The kids made a sculpture using plastic caps to raise awareness on this issue. Please see this short video presentation by kids at the Green Kids Conference on this topic.


So what Green Kids Now is doing is directly helping to reduce Plastic Caps litter. We are placing plastic caps collection bins at various locations. The collected caps, will be separated and sorted into Polypropylene and Polyethylene with the help of volunteers, and then store it in the storage location, until we reach close to 1500 lbs and then transport it to AHG Recycling located in Newark, CA, to be shredded, which would then be used to create new plastic products. The shredding machine requires loads about 5000 lbs at a time, but AHG Recycling was kind enough to help us store large quantities in their location until it reaches the right amount (~5000 lbs) for processing.

Join Us and Be Part of the Solution!

Project Goal: To recycle all the valuable Polypropylene & Polyethylene plastic caps, and prevent it from ending up as litter in our landfills and in our oceans.

Project Mission: To raise awareness about the environmental hazards caused by the plastic caps, and encourage citizens to voluntarily take action by participating in this Plastic Caps Recycle Project.
We are seeking support and partnership from Community Groups, Non-Profits, Educational Institutions, and Businesses to help with this project.
Here are some ways you could support/partner on this project:

1. Become a drop-off location for neighboring residents:
The tasks for the drop-off locations are:
a) To place a bucket or bin in their property
b) About one or two days in the week, to allow public to come and drop off their collected plastic caps
c) Once a month, to bring the collected caps to the sorting or storage location (which we are yet to identify)

2. Volunteer your time:
We will need volunteers one day every month to sort, and package the caps for storage/shipping. We will have a volunteer roster started soon, and would like to sign up 20 to 30 volunteers (adults and kids) every month.

*** Volunteer online sign-up will be available soon ***

3. Help with mini-grants or donations:
a) We need financial help to cover the basic necessities, such as, shipping, flyers printing, recycle bins, Gaylord boxes, recognition awards, etc.
b) We would be glad to accept in-kind product donations

4. Provide us with a room or shed, for storage and sorting place.
a) Storage place doesn’t need to be a very big place, just a portion of a room/shed would be sufficient
b) The sorting area could be a temporary place which we could use once a month for volunteers to meet and work. At the end of the volunteer day, we will transport all the sorted caps either to the storage location or to the recycler.

5. Help spread the word:
Help us with awareness campaign.
a) By advertising this project on your social media networks and websites
b) Through emails, flyers, and newsletters
c) Through any other means to spread the word and raise awareness

Recycle Plastic Caps:

Please ensure the plastic caps are relatively clean.

We are not able to accept the following caps through this Plastic Caps Recycle Program:

  1. Do not drop caps with metal springs or metal liners
  2. Do not drop lotion pump caps
  3. Do not drop press spray caps

Plastic Caps Drop-Off Locations in Fremont, CA:

***This project has ended. Please do not send plastic caps, as we do not have any means to recycle it now ***

Central / HUB:

1. The Artistry Salon – 2702 Mowry Avenue, Fremont, CA – 94538 – Tuesday and Thursdays – (510) 791-0882
2. City Office building – 39550 Liberty St.. Fremont, CA – 94538. (Drop-box located behind the steps on First Floor) – Mon to Fri business hours.

Mission District:

1. Alsion Montessori School – 750 Witherly Lane, Fremont, CA – 94539 – Monday to Friday – (510) 445-1127
2. Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation
3. Mission Coffee – 151 Washington Blvd, Fremont, Ca 94539 – All seven days – (510) 623-6920 FREE

Niles District

1. Niles Discovery Church – 255 H Street Fremont, CA – 94536 – Monday-Wednesday, 9:30-3:30. Second Saturday of the month, noon-1:30.

Centerville District

1. Shaolin Temple USA – 4343 Peralta Boulevard (at Dusterberry) Fremont, CA 94536 – Tel: (510) 818-9966
2. Glenmoor Elementary School – 4620 Mattos Drive, Fremont, CA – 94536 – During school hours near Room K-1

Reuse Plastic Caps:

“Save Our Planet” – artwork created by Prashanti Arts Inc., and Green Kids Now, Inc.
“Dead Albatross” – Artwork created by Green Kids Now, Inc. “Do you feel sad to see the plastic caps inside the dead Albatross! Yes, we are responsible for their death.”
“Albatross Nest” – artwork created by Green Kids Now, Inc. “Our plastic caps are polluting the nest of Albatross.”
“Dragonfly” – Artist : Amita Gowda, 6 years old “Dragonflies only lives near clean water. So, whenever you see a dragonfly, remember that there is clean water in that area.”