Posted by: Drew | February 6, 2009

Clean Ocean Action 2009 Recycle Caps Contest

COA and Aveda Inspire Our Next Generation to Collect Caps for Clean Water

Sandy Hook, NJ— Celebrating 25 years of landmark efforts to protect and clean the waters off NY and NJ, Clean Ocean Action (COA) announces a recycling contest in association with the first-ever Caps Recycling Program in the U.S. COA is inviting schools, community groups, businesses, and families to join us as we “Flip Lids” for the ocean. The contest is made possible thanks to the beauty care company Aveda™, founder of this unique recycling program.

Aveda™ is a global leader in corporate environmental sustainability and this program breaks through the current boundaries of recycling to create new caps out of 100% recycled caps—which will help save marine life by reducing the amount of caps littering our beaches and oceans. The program debuted with Aveda’s Limited Edition Vintage Clove Shampoo on September 15, 2008.

Thousands of children from across the region have responded with extraordinary enthusiasm to the challenge to reduce marine debris by collecting plastic caps for recycling. The ultimate goal of this program is to raise awareness about plastic litter and to reduce the use of plastics in our daily lives. Participation in this innovative recycling program is essential. Together, we have the opportunity to reduce beach litter and expand current recycling efforts.

“Clean Ocean Action is a dedicated ocean advocate and Aveda is thrilled that COA embraced Aveda’s caps recycling program and became one of its most enthusiastic supporters on the east coast! COA’s involvement is helping to keep coastal areas free of plastic while supporting a recycling program for something that would otherwise become waste. We thank them for helping bring the caps recycling program to the New York and New Jersey coast,” Katie Galloway, Aveda Earth & Community Care.


Did you know that the majority of plastic bottle caps do not get recycled? Instead, often these caps become trash or litter, ending-up in landfills and on beaches, or washing into our rivers and oceans. Birds and marine life mistake caps for food with tragic results. The magnitude of this pollution problem is devastating to our oceans and wildlife.

During the recycling process, caps are sorted from the bottles and discarded as garbage. In some circumstances, if a cap does not come off a bottle during compression, the entire bottle is discarded.


It’s simple – keep a running count of the caps collected (the contest is based on the honor system). Final tallies are due to COA May 1, 2009, at 5pm. The winners of the “Flip Your Lids” contest will be announced at the Clean Ocean Action Family Beach Ball for the Ocean at Ship Ahoy Beach Club in Sea Bright on May 17, 2009. Green prizes will be awarded from cash donations made by tri-state businesses also participating in the program.
Participants must register at, or with Carl Guastaferro, Contest Coordinator, at (732) 872-0111. A Recycle Caps Welcome Packet will be sent to participants upon registration, as well as details concerning pre-paid shipping information.

Caps accepted for recycling are rigid polypropylene plastic, sometimes noted with a 5 in the chasing arrows recycling symbol. This includes caps that twist on with a threaded neck such as caps on shampoo, water, soda, milk and other beverage bottles, flip top caps on tubes and food product bottles (such as ketchup and mayonnaise), laundry detergents and some jar lids such as peanut butter.

Excluded from collection are pharmaceutical lids and non rigid lids such as yogurt lids, tub lids (margarine, cottage cheese), and screw on lids that are not rigid. If you can bend or break the lid with your bare hands, then it does not meet the rigid plastic definition. Please do not include any metal lids or plastic pumps or sprayers. Unfortunately, too much of the wrong types of materials can contaminate the recycling process.

Upon learning about Aveda’s Caps Recycling program, the Wolfe Family of Fair Haven, NJ jumped into action, organizing caps collection programs in several Monmouth County schools and businesses.

“Learning that caps are not recycled and knowing what a responsibility we have to this planet and all of its inhabitants, I knew we had to get behind Aveda and Clean Ocean Action and support their valiant efforts. This program is great for children who love marine life and nature, but often feel they cannot make a difference on their own. My two children, Casey, 12, and James, 9 are wild about the environment. They brought the caps campaign to the Ranney School in Tinton Falls where they are in the 8th and 4th grades,” Patty Wolfe, Fair Haven, NJ.

“Patty and our young ocean advocates Casey and James are leading us into the next wave of ocean advocacy. Reduce, reuse, and recycle themes are essential for us to protect the health of the ocean. We applaud their seaworthy efforts to protect their planet and inspire others to act,” Cindy Zipf, Executive Director, Clean Ocean Action.

Our mission at Clean Ocean Action is to improve the degraded water quality of the marine waters off the New Jersey/New York coast.” Clean Ocean Action will identify the sources of pollution and mount an attack on each source by using research, public education, and citizen action to convince our public officials to enact and enforce measures which will clean up and protect our ocean.


Jennifer Smiga, Clean Ocean Action’s Events & Development Director: (732) 872-0111 /

Clean Ocean Action is a Charity Navigator Four Star charity for effective and efficient use of donations.

Proud member of Earth Share of NJ,

Clean Ocean Action Celebrates 25 Years in 2009!

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