Our Recycled Bottle Cap Bench is Here!

Written by Avery Bohman, 577 Program Coordinator

Say hello to our newest bench for the 577 grounds, just in time for Earth Month and Go Green Day!

This special project, Recycled Bottle Cap Bench, began in the spring of 2023 as a part of my internship. What drew me to the project was its impact on the environment. Plastic pollution is an incredibly large issue with the increase of plastic consumption; although plastic products are convenient and easy, they reap significant harmful effects on our planet — from millions of tons of plastic found in our oceans and other waterways each year, microplastics infesting our food products, and the shocking realization that only 5 to 6% of plastics are actually recycled a year. Once the project got underway, 577 staff and community members began collecting caps and spreading the word. Our collection period lasted three months, from May to July 2023, and in that short amount of time, we gathered over 275 lbs. of caps — over four times the amount we needed to make one bench!

In March 2024, Plastics-R-Unique in Wadsworth, Ohio gave us the green light to turn in our recycled bottle caps to create the bench that is now located along the River Walk trail. This family-owned company is dedicated to manufacturing environmentally friendly, post-consumer plastic products. Part of their mission is giving back locally, as well as to Mother Nature herself. Like 577, Plastics-R-Unique shares its passion for reusing and recycling and inspires others to form lifelong habits about caring for our planet.

The newly installed Recycled Bottle Cap Bench recycled a little over 130 lbs. of plastic bottle caps and lids—from yogurt and peanut butter lids to water bottle caps to laundry detergent caps. What happened to the leftover caps? The extra caps collected were donated to Plastics-R-Unique and will be used for future groups and projects, ensuring more recycling and collaboration.

Another amazing component of this project was the involvement community members had with it. Visitors stopped into the Welcome Center to drop off caps, kids would come in excited to dump full bags of caps into the large drop-box, and people spread the word to their families and friends. LiveFIT Gym in Perrysburg was also kind enough to provide another drop-box at their location, and the Hull Prairie Intermediate Environmental Club collected caps as well. We even had a few mail-in donations from schools in Georgia and Pennsylvania! The support and participation everyone showed to make this project happen was extraordinary, and we thank you again for helping us complete this unique and sustainable project that exemplifies 577’s mission and values.

We’d love for you to visit the bench! The bench is located along the River Walk trail at the top of the stairs that head to the river. This area is behind Virginia’s House.

CAP COLLECTION UPDATE: 577 is NO LONGER accepting plastic bottle cap donations. Plastics-R-Unique CAP Program has also changed its program to focus mostly on schools, scouts, and youth groups. If you have any specific questions or are interested in collecting caps for a project, they can be contacted by email at plasticsrunique@gmail.com or by phone at (330) 334-4820. For more information about Plastics-R-Unique, visit their website at https://plasticsrunique.com/.


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Music in the Gardens ~ Saturday, June 8

Music in the Gardens ~ Saturday, June 8

TSA String Quartet will be playing classical tunes from 11am to 1pm, followed by the enchanting harp music of Rebecca Swett from 2pm to 3pm. And as a special treat, Swanky Scoops will be there with delicious ice cream! Plus, select areas of Virginia’s House will be open for tours and activities from 11am to 3pm.

Join us for Music in the Gardens on Saturday, July 13, from 11am to 3pm. Events are free, family-friendly, and rain or shine.