Bottle caps can be deadly to animals


by Sandra Parker

Posted on November 5, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 5 at 5:21 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH – Bottle caps seem harmless, but they can be deadly to all sorts of animals.

"The small pieces of plastic can really affect the animals, not just the sea turtles, but birds, fish, you know marine mammals, anything that's out there and they can ingest it and get in trouble from it," explains Christina Trapani with the Va. Aquarium’s Marine Animal Care Center.

Each week, volunteers sort bottle caps and take them to the Avena store in Norfolk for recycling.

The group took more than 100 pounds of bottle caps over on a recent trip.

Now, instead of having to ship the caps out, TFC Recycling is taking care of them

"We will take them to market and hopefully that will help reduce the carbon footprint and at the end of the day, we're looking to help the aquarium, turn these bottle caps back into recycle bins that they can use," says Ed Farmer.

Farmer says it’s really important to take the cap off the bottle instead of leaving it on when you recycle.

"There's a chance that it may not get recycled because there's two different plastics," he adds.

TFC sends caps that cannot be recycled to a place where they will be used for energy.

The group also started a pilot program in October that involves 13 schools in Virginia Beach.  Students and faculty are collecting bottle caps and helping sort them.  Bottle caps are also being collected at the Princess Anne Library in Virginia Beach.  If you would be interested in helping out contact Kathy Russell at 757-543-5766