Did you know that bottle caps are one of the most littered items? You might think that a tiny bottle cap can’t cause that much harm but on the contrary, it definitely can. They’re found on the list of the top 10 most littered items with things like cigarette butts, grocery bags and straws.
Let’s start from the beginning
Plastic is filling our oceans
You might’ve heard this before but there is a problem with the amount of trash and particularly plastic that’s being found in our oceans. So much so that there’s a name for an accumulation of debris - the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Now the name may fool you into thinking that there is a huge island of trash floating in the Pacific Ocean but the fact of the matter is that it’s worse than that. As trash and non-biodegradable litter get swept out to sea it gets caught in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, otherwise known as ocean currents. As the litter gets tossed around, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces creating microplastics - tiny pieces of plastic that end up in dust, food, bottled water, animals and even humans.
Are microplastics harmful to humans?
According to The Guardian, microplastics have been found in human organs and research has shown that it can actually travel to the bloodstream. Although there hasn’t been enough testing on the human body and the effect microplastics have on it, they can contain carcinogenic materials which have been linked to cancer. Like we said before, bits of plastic can be found in the water we drink and the food we eat. For each bottle cap or plastic bag that’s pulled out of the ocean, imagine how many microplastics are sitting inside the stomach of the fish that we eat.
It’s a vicious cycle that just keeps on churning. But how can we reduce the plastic that we’re ingesting?
Don't Drop the Top at Replenish Refillery & Gift
We are happy to announce that we are now one of the homes for the Don't Drop the Top program.
What is Don't Drop the Top?
Don't Drop the top is a recycling program that is out to raise awareness about plastics in our oceans and is a group that is doing something to make a difference.
Did you know that the bottle caps on your soda bottles are a different plastic than the bottles themselves? According to Don't Drop the Top, the “Plastic tops are typically made from plastic #5 while the bottles they accompany are made from #2. These two types of plastics melt at different temperatures during the recycling process and therefore require special processing.” What that means is even though you’re recycling your used bottles, your neighborhood recycler might not be able to process the caps.
Does Curbside Recycling accept caps?
Great question! And there isn’t an answer that can be blanketed across every community. After doing a bit of research on Earth 911 - a great research for all things recycling - we found that Reno does accept plastic tops. These tops can be recycled for things like insulation for jackets and can even be remade into park benches!
Upon hearing this news we decided that we wanted to join in on the reduction of plastic and the making of something great! That’s why we have our very own Drop the Top bin right here inside of Replenish Refillery & Gift! We are accepting clean lids that are recycle numbers 2, 4 and 5. You can find these on medicine bottles, deodorant, spray paint, shampoo, spice bottles and many more!
How do I find what type of plastic is recyclable?
Not all plastic can be reused and remade. Every piece of plastic will have a triangle symbol with a number inside of it. The numbers range from 1 to 7 and tell you what type of plastic they’re made out of. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “Most plastic that displays a one or a two number is recyclable (though you need to check with your area’s recycling provider). But plastic that displays a three or a five often isn’t recyclable.”
If you’ve got a 2, 4 or 5 then come on down to Replenish Refillery and Gift and be a part of reducing the amount of plastic filling our oceans.