Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Kokua Line

Partnership provides method to recycle certain caps and lids

QUESTION: Is there a place on Oahu where I can take plastic caps or plastic No. 3 or above containers for recycling?

ANSWER: There’s still no recycling collection for plastic containers marked No. 3 and above, but you now can recycle plastic caps and lids, thanks to a partnership involving seven organizations.

Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii (B.E.A.C.H.), along with Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, Matson Navigation, Young Bros., Pepsi Beverages Co. Hawaii, ETA Logistics and Lucent Polymers, launched a campaign to recycle plastic caps and lids on World Ocean Day, June 8.

The caps and lids can be taken to four Goodwill redemption centers: Beretania, 1075 S. Beretania St.; Kapahulu, 3335 Campbell Ave.; Mapunapuna, 2610 Kilihau St.; and Wahiawa, 823 California Ave.

Go to www.higoodwill.org/locations/redemption-centers or call 521-1798 for hours.

(Although it accepts redeemable HI-5 containers to help fund its services, Goodwill does not receive compensation from the recycling of caps and lids, said Laura Kay Rand, vice president of corporate services.)

In the first week alone, more than 50,000 caps and lids were turned in, said B.E.A.C.H spokeswoman Suzanne Frazer.

"Our role is education," she said of her all-volunteer nonprofit organization.

The aim of the recycling program "is to help people understand the problem of small plastic litter and the harm it does to marine life, especially seabirds that see bright-colored caps and want to ingest them (as well as) feed them to their chicks."

Frazer noted an increase in plastic cap litter since the bottle recycling program started in Hawaii. People recycle the containers but are "losing the caps along the way."

Learn more about B.E.A.C.H and the problems of marine debris and litter by going to www.b-e-a-c-h.org.

The caps and lids end up with Lucent Polymers in Indiana, where they are re-purposed into new resin.

Along the way, Pepsi transports the caps and lids from Goodwill to Young Bros., where they are stored in Matson containers; Matson provides free shipping to the mainland where ETA Logistics helps out with transportation.

QUESTION: What kind of plastic caps and lids are accepted?

ANSWER: This is important because not all plastic lids and caps are recyclable.

For example, Styrofoam coffee cup lids and thin plastic lids on soft drink cups are not accepted. Neither is anything with metal.

What you can recycle are clean and dry No. 2 (HDPE), 4 (LDPE) and 5 (PP) caps and lids from bottles, cans and tubes that contain drinks, shampoo, food products, detergent, cosmetics, medicines, supplements, toothpaste, coffee and spray products. Remove all paper, Styrofoam and labels before recycling.

Traffic Signal

Regarding the person who said a traffic signal was not needed at the Dole Street/St. Louis Drive intersection: I was hit at that intersection in 2005. I was riding my bike down the hill as I was preparing for the bike race up Haleakala, and someone turned in front of me. That day changed my life as I would never be the same. I was in a coma for 16 days and in the hospital for three months. A light would definitely be a safety factor there. — Troy Wouters

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 Correction: Suzzane Frazer is the B.E.A.C.H. spokeswoman. An earlier version of this story misspelled her last name.

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