Thursday, November 6, 2008

Items collected Thursday, November 6, 2008

  • 5 plastic water bottles (1 Nestle Pure Life, 1 Sam*s Choice, 1 Deer Park Eco-Shape, 1 Deer Park regular, 1 Deer Park with fluoride and child-safe cap)

  • 1 plastic carrier bag

As noted above, one of the bottles found today has a child-proof cap. The label says, "Non-removable cap reduces risk of choking". I'm all for saving children from choking, but as a recycler I'm unsure what to do with the bottle. I just sent the following letter to Deer Park about it:

I'm not sure how to recycle Deer Park water bottles that come with child-proof caps. Where I live, bottles are recyclable only if their caps are first removed, and there's a strict policy that plastic items can go in the recycling bin only if they are made exclusively of resin type 1 or 2. I know that Deer Park bottles are made of resin type 1, but what about the caps? I would appreciate information on the resin type(s) of the caps, which appear to be made of two kinds of plastic. Also, I would like to know if there is a simple way for adults to remove the caps. I look forward to receiving your reply.

I received this reply. (The misspelling of "Park" is in the original e-mail.)

Dear Deer Par Consumer,

Thank you for contacting us about Deer Park® Brand Natural Spring Water regarding recyclability.

You can recycle these bottles as you normally would recycle another water bottle with the recycling symbol "1" on the bottom. The 8 oz. fluoride cap is a combination of HDPE (spout) and polypropylene (base). The bottle is PET (code #1). Some recycling facilities will accept the mixed materials, however most may not.

We suggest contacting your local certified recycling center in order to determine whether or not the bottle may be recycled in your area.

We hope this information is helpful.

After attacking the cap with a sharp knife, I was eventually able to bend the cap enough to remove it. It took a while, and I can't imagine many people taking the time to remove caps in preparation for their bottles being recycled, especially if they had a lot of bottles. I wish Deer Park would redesign its child-safe bottles to be more recyclable.

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