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Bottle Caps are the #4 most littered item in beach clean ups. In 2019 1,390,232 Bottle Caps were picked up  globally on Coastal Clean Up Day.  35,712 Plastic Bottle caps just in California alone. 

1790 Bottle Caps Picked Up

From Jan 2020 to July 2020 1790 plastic bottles caps in South Mission Beach. We estimate that this is 1% of all the bottle caps left on the beach. 


Bottle caps especially white or clear are easily lost in the sand and washed away by the tides. Beach Clean machines can easily bypass small bottle caps, which then get ground further in the sand or eaten by marine life, especially birds. 

Death By Plastic 

Eating bottle caps can give turtles a condition called  "bubble butt" - turtles that float as a result of trapped gas caused by harmful decomposition of marine debris inside a turtle's body. The gases cause the turtle to float, which leads to starvation or makes them an easy target for predators.

Albatross and the like feed colorful plastic bottle caps to their chicks, thus killing them. 


Besides easy to be broken down into microplastics, the caps are small enough to be swallowed whole by animals such as birds, suffocating or hurting their intestines in the process.


Not So Fun Fact:

  • Record: 600 Bottle Caps were picked up in one day after a high tide in south mission beach 

  • Consumers leave behind 80% of the plastic bottle caps on the beach

  • Plastic bottle caps are among the top 5 ocean trash items that are deadly for sea life

  • Bottle Caps are easily washed down storm drains and then off to sea. 

  • Municipalities often limit the materials they accept for recycling because of the cost associated with sorting the various materials; perhaps the biggest reason bottle cap disposal procedures vary so much from place to place is that bottle caps are hard for MRFs to sort efficiently. Bottle caps are usually made from a different type of plastic than the bottles they seal shut. While most plastic water bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate (#1 PET plastic), most bottle caps are made from polypropylene (#5 PP plastic). PET has a melting point of almost 500° Fahrenheit, whereas PP will melt at only 320° Fahrenheit; this difference in melting points means that the two materials must be separated from one another prior to being melted down for reuse. But removing the caps from their bottles before you put them in the recycling bin isn’t a surefire solve: Because they’re so small, they’re likely to fall off conveyor belts during the sorting process and end up in the garbage, possibly representing a loss to the recycling company as a result.

Fun Fact: Plastic Bottle Caps are being reused to made Bench Buddies.

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