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'Cap' off market by saving plastic


Farmers markets Waste Center will accept bottle caps next spring

Plastic caps top soda, juice and water bottles, milk cartons and sports drinks — as well as shampoo, detergent, and toothpaste. Forest Grove resident and recycler extraordinaire Cecelia Warner is mounting a campaign to reuse them.

“If they are not recycled, millions of caps are discarded every day,” noted Warner, a Master Recycler.

To reduce the number of plastic caps going to the landfill, the Forest Grove Farmers Market Waste Center is launching a campaign called Capturing Caps. Market patrons are asked to collect plastic caps through the upcoming winter months — while the market is on seasonal hiatus — then take them to the Waste Center during next season’s farmers market.

The collected caps will be sent to Ohio, where they will be recycled into earth-friendly products.

“Even though plastic (polypropylene) caps are recyclable, it is difficult to do so in Oregon,” said Warner. “They are not allowed in curbside roll carts and they are problematic for recycling businesses like Far West Fibers.

“Small objects, like caps on found bottled water, fall through the sifters (then are discarded) or they jam the sorting machines. Also, caps left on bottles can ‘blast off’ when the bottle is compressed. This is hazardous to recycling facility employees.”

The Capturing Caps initiative is about “more than just recycling plastic caps,” said Warner, who founded the Waste Center at the Forest Grove market. “It is also about raising awareness about how much plastic accumulates in our lives — even the little things like caps add up.”

Capturing Caps will accept only clean, threaded plastic caps. Caps may not contain any metal, foil, foam or paper liners. The Waste Center will not accept plastic pumps or sprayers. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find Capturing Caps on Facebook.