Instant Gratification for Collective Awareness and Sustainable Consumerism
Heaps of bottle tops are assembled; put up for sale then recycled providing a way for Youth in South Sudan to access education through scholarships. The ‘Open Caps’ initiative started in Palermo at a place called Villa Ciambra at the Don Bruno di Bella Oratory of the Parish of Maria Santisima del Rosario.
The youth are offered scholarships to study at the secondary school of Bro. Augusto Memorial College. The college is one of the projects that is sponsored by the Italian Bishops’ conference(CEI) through Service for Charitable Action in the Developing World and its committee.
The families in the small village of Villa Ciambra have become ardent collectors of bottle tops. Together with their children, they collect them and put them away, and once the bags have been filled they take the bottle tops to the Oratory. The tops are then transferred to storage areas and then unloaded into ‘Big bags’ that weigh between 160 and 170 kg.
The Big bags are then transported to the company that then recycles the bottle tops then resells the recycled products to other companies that use recycled products to manufacture utensils, household accessories, and pipes. In its most recent assembly of bottle tops, the Villa Ciambra Oratory managed to make over 2,000 euros. The money is used to help South Sudanese youth gain an education where literacy levels in the country are still at high.
In addition to the bottle tops being recycled to help provide scholarships, the initiative is also promoting environment conservation as the materials used in the making of bottle tops are of a different material than the one used in the king of the rest of the bottle. The material used to make bottle tops is high-density polyethylene(HDPE) or polyethylene which does not decompose easily. According to research, bottle tops are one of the deadliest ocean pollutants.