The Westminster Enactus group has a sustainable business project every year. Starting in the spring semester of 2021, the group decided to start a project that promotes recycling while attempting to raise awareness for the plastic pollution that humans create and may not even recognize. The project proposed by senior Rianna Lyden is a bottle cap collection. Lyden found a company in Evansville, Indiana called Green Tree that takes typically hard to recycle plastics and creates furniture of the highest quality possible.
Once the project was proposed, an end goal needed to be decided. Westminster Enactus President, Sean Davis, said the proposed goal was to collect several hundred pounds of bottle caps, enough to have Green Tree make at least one park bench to place somewhere on Westminster’s campus. Once the project took shape, the Enactus group had to figure out the logistics of the collection process. The collections include bottle caps from plastic water and soda bottles as well as shampoo, soap, condiments, spray paint, detergent, toothpaste, and various other types of plastic caps. There are collection boxes for caps in every dorm building as well as the business offices and the TUB. Students on campus use plastic bottles every day, whether it is a beverage from the TUB or bottle of bodywash from the shower.
Davis is adamant about the collection process: “If you would like to help it is not too late! Simply save all types of plastic caps and place them in a specially marked box on campus. Please also let your friends and family know they can help too! Lastly, this will be an on-going project. Since we need hundreds of pounds of caps, we will be carrying the project into next semester. So, keep collecting over the summer and we will be ready to pick up where we left off in August.”
Davis also talked about how easy and simple the process is. He and the Enactus group just want students to understand how to participate in the project. The group made it very clear that every cap counts, so whether it is one cap or several pounds of caps, they will add up quickly. They also wanted to express how the project supports and raises awareness for a prevalent issue in the world today, plastic pollution.
There is roughly 300 million tons of plastic created annually and only about 9% of it gets recycled. While the bottle cap collection project may seem small in the grand scheme of the issue, any awareness that is raised can benefit the future and help reduce plastic pollution. Westminster’s Enactus group looks forward to finishing and seeing the spoils of their sustainable business project in the fall semester.