Americans represent 5% of the world’s population, but generate 30% of the world’s garbage. Now, more than ever, we need to do our part to reuse, reduce, recycle, reconsider and reimagine before we throw something away. Teaching our children to reduce waste is a crucial element to the future of our planet and species. Of the garbage Americans throw out, half could be recycled, which is enough to fill a football stadium from top to bottom everyday. Let’s work together to lower this number – we can start by being creative!
Recycling Resources for Plastic Bottle Caps
• Check with your city. Some cities do accept plastic bottle caps, but they may require that you remove the cap from the bottle and put it in the bin separately. The only way to find out is to check with your city. Try Googling something like “[YourCity] Plastic Recycling.” Lots of cities now have websites where that information is easy to access.
• Whole Foods. Some Whole Foods Markets and other grocery stores accept #5 plastic caps for recycling along with their plastic bag recycling. Next time you’re shopping, check their bins to see if yours does, too!
• Earth911. A go-to resource for any recycling question. You can search the Earth911 database for “plastic caps” to find facilities near you that will accept them.
• Caps Can Do. If you can’t find a local place to drop off your plastic caps for recycling, you can ship them to Caps Can Do, a company that specializes in recycling #5 plastic!
Recycling is great, but reusing is better when you consider how inefficient plastic recycling is. TThere are many fun ways to reuse plastic caps, no matter your skill level. The possibilities are endless when you go through your recycling and trash bins with a creative mindset! Recycle crafts in general help kids learn to come up with their own ideas, build their creative confidence and mobile skills, and envision new purposes for common objects.
For example, you can make some adorable magnets from recycled bottle caps or lids. Notorious for their longevity in the landfills (plastic takes over 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill!), plastic lids can be reimagined to make fun recycle crafts, gifts and decorations!
Plastic Bottle Cap Magnets
• Plastic lids and tops
• Permanent markers
• Hot glue gun or craft glue
• Sticky magnet tape to put your creations on the fridge
• Decorations: Multi-colored plastic (think of using the strip from around milk jugs or bread bag holders), construction paper, or felt…and any thing colorful you have around the house, like buttons, yarn, etc. Recycled magazines are perfect for cutting out letters and numbers to make into magnets.
• Optional: googly eyes for cute looking faces
• Cut wine corks if your lid is too deep to magnetize or just flip you lid and use the inside to decorate
Simply draw your face or creature on the lid with a permanent marker then use the hot glue gun or craft glue to add flare! From googly eyes, to pipe cleaners, have fun making monster lids, lady bug friends, or keep it simple with various facial expressions:
There are many thing you can do with your recycled plastic bottle caps and lids! Extend the life of your hand soap with a home-made soap dish from EcoKaren:
Make some cute stamps with your lids, styrofoam and some paint from The Long Thread:
Or save your bottle caps and lids by color and get crafty! Here are some example of some beautiful art pieces made with recycled plastic:
What can you craft with your plastic lids and bottle caps? Share with Chipper!