Keeping our beaches clean is an increasing environmental problem that scientists cannot solve alone. Millions of tons of plastic waste litter the world’s oceans everyday.
Fortunately, Gloria and Selena, seniors at Stanton College Prep School in Downtown Jacksonville and founders of The Bottle Project, are working with local non-profits Kids’ FUN and COAST to create self-replicating recycle bins out of repurposed water bottles. The self-described environmentalists and entrepreneurs introduced their message of environmental transparency, “One man’s trash is another’s trash can,” at One Spark 2014.
Gloria first saw recycle bins made out of water bottles while visiting Costa Rica on a youth ambassador trip. Inspired by what she saw, she told herself, “This is a universal symbol.”
Since then, The Bottle Project has been working with our local Jacksonville community to spread awareness about recycling. The key to the project’s success is to “bring awareness before action” by involving the community and instilling a sense of environmental stewardship at a young age. The organization hosts beach cleanups as well as recycling creatively workshops where children make art out of recycled water bottles. Art has enabled them to bring awareness to the youngest community members. According to Selena, “When you make and create with trash, you become aware of what you’re producing and its impact on the beach.”
The Bottle Project hopes to make recycle bins more accessible, perhaps at places like the Jacksonville Beach Public Library. To spark curiosity and interest, they want to include fun facts about recycling on each bin. The students also plan to go back to Costa Rica to educate the children there on recycling creatively.
Please help beaches by hosting a clean-up in your area! You can view The Bottle Project’s helpful hints by clicking the link below.
How to Have a Successful Beach Cleanup by The Bottle Project