Gimme 5 Caps Recycling

Your Actions Matter

Together with you, Preserve Gimme 5 is working with partners Acure, Burt's Bees®, Brita®, Stonyfield™ and Plum Organics® to address the challenge of recycling caps! With participating schools in Massachusetts and Florida, we are helping to make sure that plastic caps get recycled properly and stay out of both landfills and the Earth's oceans.  Read on to learn more about the challenge and how you and your school can help.

Caps are one of the most frequently found forms of trash in the world’s oceans and on beaches. Our goal is to keep caps not only out of the ocean, but out of landfills as well.  Although caps are made from materials that are very recyclable (high-density polyethylene and polypropylene), their small size can make them difficult to recycle.  When tossed into recycling bins on their own, caps cannot make it through an automated recycling facility and often literally “fall through the cracks.”

Two ways to address Caps: "Caps-On" and "Save the Caps" with Gimme 5


The Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) recommends that caps be recycled by keeping the "caps on."  This entails leaving caps on highly recyclable plastic containers such as soda and water bottles before recycling them.  These bottles are typically marked with recycling codes #1 and #2. The size of the bottle provides a “carrier” for the cap and allows it to move safely and fully through the recycling facility.  You can reach out to your local recycling facility to inquire whether they are able to support caps-on.  If they do, the best way to recycle caps that are on rigid plastic bottles is on the bottle itself.    

Save your Caps with Gimme 5 - When there isn't a Carrier

Many plastic caps do not come with a recyclable “carrier.”  These include, but are not limited to:

  • plastic caps on glass bottles
  • caps on tubes
  • caps on baby food pouches
  • Caps on cartons, such as those for milk, orange juice or soymilk  

Gimme 5 and Caps - How it Works

The Gimme 5 program takes plastics that can be challenging to recycle (such as caps) and turns them into new products in the USA, such as the Preserve toothbrush and razor.  The Gimme 5 program works by operating a network of collection bins in partnership with Whole Foods Market and select coop grocery stores across the country. When trucks return empty to their distribution centers, they are able to take the Gimme 5 plastic, along with other collected recyclables back for consolidation.  Preserve then picks up the plastic from the distribution centers and the Gimme 5 recycling program utilizes a hand-sorting line to make sure that the caps and other plastics get properly sorted before being recycled into new products.

Caps Recycling and Schools

Gimme 5 partners with schools to educate about caps recycling and to help schools serve as cap collection hubs.  Schools then can bring collected caps to a nearby Gimme 5 bin.  If you know a school that would like to participate, please contact us at:  

Want to learn more?  Please contact us at