Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's entrepreneur wants your bottle caps

The next time you finish a beverage that comes out of a plastic bottle, a St. John’s entrepreneur wants you to think of him.

Bottle caps will be recycled and turned into another item

The bottle caps go through a plastic shredder and then will be melted down to inject into a mould. (Submitted by Trevor Bessette)

The next time you finish a beverage that comes out of a plastic bottle, a St. John's entrepreneur wants you to think of him.

Trevor Bessette is looking for bottle caps to turn them into something usable. 

"Our goal is to recycle all kinds of different plastics but we are focusing and starting with the bottle caps because they are extremely common plastics and one that ends up in the landfills quite often," said Bessette. 

Bessette started Seaside Apparel, a clothing line made from recycled plastic bottles and sewing scraps, two years ago and is now trying to prevent more plastic from hitting the landfill. 

Trevor Bessette is a student at Memorial University. (Jonny Hodder/CBC)

The bottle caps he collects will go into a shredder, which will turn the plastic into flakes. Then the flakes will be melted down and put into moulds to make other products.

Bessette said he wants to start with small items like keychains, coasters and flower pots, but hopes to make useful items with long lifespans.

"The name of the game is to extend the life cycle of the material for as long as possible," he said. "Ultimately we would like to take back the product we sell again, once people are finished with them, and recycle them again."

A collection bin has been set up at the St. John's Farmers' Market, and Bessette hopes to sell his recycled products at the market in the near future.

This is what the bottle caps look like after going through the shredder. (Submitted by Trevor Bessette)

He said he is working on partnering with organizations and municipalities across the province to set up more collection bins.

"I think even more importantly than the … physical recycling of these caps is that I am hoping it starts the conversation and gets people thinking about the plastic." 

On top of the recycling efforts, he is also looking at bringing his recycling machine into classrooms to demonstrate. 

He hopes that when children see how their trash can be reused it will encourage them to think about what they are throwing away.

"If you have something that interests people or gets them curious about something I think you can start conversations a little bit easier. Once you have someone's attention you can give them that crucial information as to why recycling is so important."

Bessette hopes to prevent bottle caps from going to the landfill — and also to prompt people to think about what they throw away. (Submitted by Trevor Bessette)

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