Our first bottle-cap challenge was not extensively advertised, but it brought out a few new faces. Why did we decide on a Bottle-cap challenge? The uniform size and shape makes a very easy comparison. They are a fairly thick and durable product and are a representative item of the trash on the beach. Bottle-caps are also less likely to be recycled and more likely to be discarded. Our islands recycling rules ask for them to be removed from the bottles that will be recycled.
|The Bottle Cap Challenge Winners|
|104 Bottle Caps|
In two hours on the beach we found 104 bottle caps while we picked up 6 bags of plastic film, plastic take-out containers, plastic bottles, and polystyrene. Bottle-caps are a soft plastic, usually #5 plastic called polypropylene. It is a different plastic than the bottles so most recycling programs ask them to be removed and throw away. This is not only a problem on our island, according to earth911.com:
A 2016 debris removal effort of Midway Atoll, an island with a population of less than 60 in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (1,300 miles from Honolulu, the closest city), found almost 5,000 bottle caps; if not recycled, these caps travel a large distance and pose a danger to marine life because of their small size