The "Bottle Caps to Benches" program was started several years ago by a company named Green Tree Plastics which is located in Evansville, Indiana. They saw a need to help keep small plastic caps out of our oceans and landfills. A student organization in Thomasville called “STEMTASTIC” is made up of both city and county students who attended Camp STEMtastic at Thomas University. This past summer Thomasville High School’s rising 10th-grade students worked on ‘Stewardship of our Earth’ which led the students to this service project where they are collecting bottle caps and other approved plastic materials to build "buddy" benches for each school. The idea behind the bench is that a student can sit on the bench when they need a friend and someone can join them.
This is a collaborative effort of our local schools, universities, and businesses that are collecting these caps in designated recycling containers around the Thomasville community. There will be containers in each of the schools, at the Friday night football games, and in the buildings of several of the local businesses that are involved. This student-led program is involved in the collection, cleaning, sorting, and weighing of the plastic caps. There is a need of 200 pounds of caps and $250 to construct one bench.
All of the caps collected this school year will be driven to the Green Tree Plastics Recycling Center in Evansville, Indiana next summer by our STEMtastic team. This is where the caps will be turned into the colorful boards which will make up the buddy benches. The students will be able to help pick out the location on their campuses for the benches and be involved with constructing them as well. Seeing the permanent fixtures will give students a sense of pride in knowing that they have done something for not only their school and community but also for the planet on which they live.