Recycling Plastic Bottle Caps

On Earth Day, 22nd April 2009, B.E.A.C.H. launched a new campaign focusing on recycling plastic bottle caps to raise awareness of the impact of small plastic litter to marine life.

In studies of Laysan albatross in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, researchers have found that 100% of Laysan albatross chicks were ingesting plastic. Common items ingested include bottle caps, lighters, children's toys, combs and toothbrushes. Thousands of chicks die each year due to complications of ingesting plastic.

B.E.A.C.H. has found that plastic bottle caps are one of the top ten items found during marine debris beach clean-ups and is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.
Laysan albatross
photo: R. Schallenberger
Dead albatross chick. photo: Cynthia Vanderlip

To draw awareness to this issue, B.E.A.C.H. volunteers will be collecting plastic bottle caps and will bring the caps to Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa at Ala Moana Center. The caps will be recycled into new caps and packaging.

Any twist on plastic cap or lid that is made of rigid polypropylene plastic (recycle symbol number 5) is being accepted for recycling including caps from beverage, shampoo, and food product bottles.

Caps that bend or break are not acceptable. Other caps that are not acceptable: metal, foil, sprayers, sports drink tops, medicine bottle caps, layered plastics, #2 or #4 plastic caps, push on caps.

Schools interested in getting involved in the caps recycling program can contact B.E.A.C.H. on 393 2168 or 554 2902. To learn more about Recycle Caps with Aveda, go to

Locations where the public can drop off bottle caps:
  • Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa at Ala Moana Center
  • University of Hawai`i Laboratory School

    and at the B.E.A.C.H. booths at the following events:

  • UHM Earth Day, Wed. 22nd April, 10am-2pm
  • Harbor Court Earth Day, Wed. 22nd April, 11:30am-1:30pm
  • Punahou Sustainability Fair, Fri. 24th April, 9am-3pm
  • Wai`alae School Earth Day, Sat. 25th April, 9am-2pm
  • `E Malama I Ke Kai, Kapiolani Park, Sat. 16th May, 10am-3pm
  • Hale`iwa Farmers' Market, Sun. 3rd, 24th May, 16th August
  • Hawai`i Powered - Clean Energy Festival, Aloha Tower Marketplace, Sat. 18th July, 2009

B.E.A.C.H. helps save wildlife through recycling program, KHNL News 8 Today, Wednesday 17th June, 2009.

Plastic bottle caps get special attention, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday 1st June, 2009
Story on B.E.A.C.H.'s plastic bottle cap recycling campaign with Aveda.

Bottle Caps Bad for Seabird Chicks, Midweek East Community News,
Wednesday 3rd June, 2009

How Plastic Bottle Caps Can Kill, Midweek, Wednesday 13th May, 2009

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Coral Photograph Credit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce and Dr. James P. McVey. Dolphins, Japanese Angelfish, Green turtle, and Laysan Albatross photos by James Watt. Humpback whale photo by James Mobeley

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