EDIT: 27th July 2012 – Ian is no longer collecting milk bottle tops for charity. He is still collecting other items, so please contact him for up to date details of the materials you can recycle with him for charity.
This is the article you’ve all been waiting for! Many people have asked us about recycling milk bottle tops for charity.
I’m delighted to welcome Ian Lambert to my zero waste today. Ian has an amazing personal story about financial loss and as a consequence has founded HS4B which provides advice, support and solutions for people who find themselves bankrupt.
It’s amazing sometimes, the money that we throw away, who would have thought milk bottle tops would have the potential to collectively be worth so much money……. And that’s the key isn’t it?….. collectively.
I have been saving them for nearly two years to give to my Mum who then passes them onto a friend and no doubt she passes on what she collects but after reading the article on My Zero Waste about recycling milk bottle tops, I thought a proper rethink was needed about this subject.
Millions of people in this country throw them away into the landfill and no doubt they take years to eventually rot, which as we all know is bad for the environment.
I along with several other people are in the process of launching a brand new charitable organisation called HS4B (Help & Support for Bankrupt People), the aim of which is to provide a non judgemental environment both on and offline for people that have been made bankrupt. That is not to say a person can’t use us if they are heading for bankruptcy as the information we give will hopefully make the prospective bankrupt aware of what they are about to go through.
Discrimination of any kind is supposed to be illegal, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way and bankrupts face a mass of positive discrimination that they are not ready for. To give you an example; A policeman is not allowed to be a bankrupt so they would lose their job…… could you imagine the outcry if becoming disabled or changing one’s religion whilst in a job got you fired! My God there would be total uproar in the streets. The problem with bankruptcy is that the general public don’t realise how much a bankrupt is actually discriminated against.
The people that have the lowest incomes generally pay the most which just can’t be right…… legal……. but not right. Higher interest rates, higher rent, higher mortgage and so on and it’s about time the practice was outlawed.
It actually takes very little money to get a bankrupt back on their feet again, we are not talking thousands and thousands of pounds either, once back on their feet they become a productive member of society and contribute once again to the local community as well as the government purse strings.
Imagine what could be done with the amount of free money 70 million bottle tops a day produces! Putting them altogether suddenly makes it worthwhile for a household to collect them and over a period of say a month it’s surprising how much you can collect.
Of course the really simple answer would be to put into force a law that said unless the packaging on ANY product was biodegradable, it is illegal. Do that and the problem is solved over night especially if you add in to that the company is not allowed to make non biodegradable packaging on English soil. Lets face it, it’s not rocket science and is very easy to fix. This is something the industry should have fixed for itself but like every other money making machine out there, who can be bothered to do it right when they make so much money doing it wrong.
I am going to be committed to this idea and want to get to a stage where we are collecting them throughout the country as I believe the revenue for this would be staggering. I have now extended this to other products like cans etc since first coming across this article……. Now we collect cans (the squashable kind), old wire both with plastic coating and bare wire, any metal a magnet doesn’t stick to, used postage stamps, old keys, stationary, and now we have a fundraising shop we collect anything we can re sell too. Our fundraising shop is at 114 Portland Road, Wyke, Weymouth DT4
If you would like to help us and collect your bottle tops for us then please do get in touch; we have our contact details on the site. We are in need of people to help organise and streamline this project for us and run a special group specifically for Tops and Lids so if you think you can help us we would like to hear from you. We promise you faithfully we will not stop collecting them, I have noticed that time and time again, organisations start off wanting them and then stop when they find out how little money is in it, this is very frustrating for the individuals and groups that put a lot of time and effort in so if you get involved with us we will see it through, after all we can’t do it without you. You can send us milk bottle tops, and the lids from soft drinks and bottled water. You can also send us the large caps from fabric conditioner.
Helping bankrupt people back onto their feet is a very worthwhile and cost effective exercise, the battle is half way won because they actually WANT to get off their bums and get back into society which will be easier done if we can remove the positive discrimination that comes along with bankruptcy.
To recap, items you can send to Ian for recycling; either in person at his shop in Weymouth or by posting (you need to cover postage costs yourself)
Plastic milk bottle tops
Plastic caps from fizzy drinks, soft drinks and bottled water
Large plastic caps from fabric conditioner
Printer ink cartridges
Clean aluminium foil
Planters and pots
Batteries of all sizes
Aluminium drinks cans
old wire both with plastic coating and bare wire
Any metal a magnet doesn’t stick to
Used postage stamps