Where to recycle plastic bottle tops in Australia

Where to recycle bottle tops in Australia

Plastic bottle tops - these cheeky little fellas sure can cause some confusion when it comes to how they can be disposed of responsibly. So much so, that our inbox is frequently inundated by questions on the subject on the daily! Below, we fill you in on some common questions and misconceptions to get you well on your way to sustainable disposable of this (extremely useful and valuable!) resource.

Where to recycled plastic bottle caps in Australia

Why bottle caps can't be recycled through your home recycling bin

In many Australian councils, plastic bottle tops must be separated from bottles before being placed in the recycling bin. Bottle tops are too small to be accurately sorted at most Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs), and if placed loose within your kerbside recycling bin, often end up contaminating the recycling mix or jamming the sorting machinery. Unfortunately, this has meant that up until recently, plastic bottle caps have had to be disposed of alongside general household waste, keeping the 'non-recyclable' material out of the recyclable waste stream.

Recyclers that accept plastic bottle lids in Australia

Enter the Envision Hands program

In 2019, community charity initiative Envision Hands was created with the vision to turn discarded plastic bottle caps into interim mobility aids (prosthetic limbs) for children.

The first phase of the project (bottle cap collection) was hugely successful, with the collection of over 5,000,000 bottle caps in Victoria and another 10,000,000 collected interstate. 

However, towards the end of 2019, Envision put a call out to stop the flow of lids, and released the following statement to advise of complications in production and quality assurance. "Despite our best efforts, the children’s mobility aids that we have produced from recycled bottle caps have not met our internal quality standards. Regrettably, Phase Two of the project will cease, and we will no longer seek support for the Envision Hands project.

Recycling facilities for plastic bottle lids in Australia | Precious Plastic Melbourne

A grassroots micro-recycling movement provides a circular solution

With Aussies around the country diligently collecting lids in the thousands, not long after we established Precious Plastic Melbourne we were contacted by Envision, and met with their founder Sean Teer to arrange the handover of around 300,000 lids, and to redirect the never-ending flow of incoming plastic waste to our micro-recycling workshop in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. 

Ever since, we've been able to provide a sustainable solution for Lids4Kids, diverting a valuable resource from landfill, and repurposing the discarded lids into a range of useful products, such as plastic bricks, picnic plates, jenga blocks and more - some of which are part of our Give Back program, with proceeds donated to Lids4Kids to support them in their mission to repurpose plastic waste.

Organisations turning plastic bottle caps into new products in Australia

How / Where to donate your plastic lids

Here at PPM, we do not accept plastic lids directly from the general public. Rather than putting all of our resources into collecting and cleaning, we're channeling our energy into our special skills - processing and recycling all of that plastic waste!

For our plastic collection and coordination, we operate in collaboration with a national organisation called Lids4Kids, working closely with our local Victorian branches, the community and volunteers, who coordinate plastic collection through local schools, businesses and individuals.

For lid donations, you can find your local Lids4Kids group and closest drop-off point via the Lids4Kids Facebook page or website. (If you're having trouble finding your closest collection point, please contact Lids4Kids rather than PPM.)

19 comments

Where do you drop off in Noosa

Lee

Hi I’m very interested in help u collect plastic caps . I live in Sydney,could you please tell me where your drop off service is located

Rima

Hello, I am trying to find a collection point in the Lismore area for plastic bottle caps, northern NSW. Can you advise if there is something up here?

Dale Viola

Hi went to FB page but still couldn’t find a drop off location. Can you advise where is the closest to Essendon North please.

Sharon Ryan

Where in The West of Melbourne can you deliver plastic bottle tops. This is the 2nd time I have asked.

Carolyn Dawn Maggs

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