Recycling Plastic Caps into Benches: The Green Tree Initiative

Shown in this September 2022 photograph is a bench in front of Bank of the Southwest, 226 N. Main St., made of recycled plastic by Green Tree Plastics. The Indiana company continues offering groups the chance to obtain such benches through its ABC Promise Partnership program. For a modest price and a donation of recyclable caps and lids, groups can obtain these unique benches.

Recycling Plastic Caps into Benches: The Green Tree Initiative

Southwest Printers LLC, a forward-thinking company, is making strides in environmental sustainability by accepting plastic bottle caps. These caps are ingeniously recycled into durable plastic benches by Green Tree Plastics in Evansville, Indiana. Bianca Cheney, the owner of Southwest Printers, is spearheading this initiative. She plays a crucial role in aiding groups eager to secure these recycled benches, guiding them in gathering the necessary caps and lids.

In Roswell, numerous community groups have benefited from this innovative recycling program through Green Tree’s ABC Promise Partnership. Since its inception in 2010, the program’s dual focus has been on recycling specific types of caps and lids and educating young people about the importance of recycling.

The process is straightforward yet impactful. To create one bench, approximately 200 pounds of bottle caps are required. In exchange for a modest fee and a donation of usable caps and lids, Green Tree provides these benches, each weighing about 185 pounds.

Cheney expresses her gratitude for the donations received, though she notes the time-intensive nature of sorting through them to ensure they meet recycling criteria. It’s crucial that donations be clean and devoid of non-recyclable items such as rubber bands, pills, cardboard, and fast-food lids.

To facilitate this process, many individuals reserve uncertain items to be reviewed by Cheney and her team of volunteers, ensuring that only appropriate materials are sent to Green Tree’s Indiana facility. It’s worth noting that mailed donations are not accepted, as per the company’s policy.

A remarkable community effort emerged in mid-2022 in Roswell to collect and deliver a significant load of recyclable materials. This initiative was in response to the potential closure of Green Tree, whose owners were considering retirement. Fortunately, new owners took over the business, leading to the revival and expansion of the recycling program, now including adult groups.

What Can Be Recycled?

The focus of this recycling initiative is on plastic caps and lids marked with numbers 2, 4, and 5, signifying high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and polypropylene, respectively. These types of plastics are preferred for their recyclability.

Impact and Availability

Green Tree’s benches, available in gray and various colors, have become a common sight in Roswell, adorning schools, churches, parks, and other community spaces. While they come at a cost, the environmental benefits and the promotion of sustainable practices make them a valuable addition to any setting.

In conclusion, the partnership between Southwest Printers, Green Tree Plastics, and the Roswell community exemplifies a successful recycling initiative. It not only addresses environmental concerns but also fosters community involvement and education on sustainability.