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300 pounds of plastic caps now a bench at Charlotte High School, winner of State's Environmental Service Award

Charlotte High School students standing behind bench made with recycled plastic caps

The Caps Recycling Program at Charlotte High School has come full circle. Students at the school were recognized earlier this year with the State of Michigan's Environmental Service Award for completion of a school-sanctioned, environment-based project that had tangible results.

The result of their efforts showed up literally recently when the 300 pounds of recyclable plastic the students collected was transformed into a bench now located at the school.

It's a great example of circular economy that designs out waste and pollution and keeps products in use.

The Environmental Service Award program is an annual recognition program. Schools are encouraged to design programs that meet the program's criteria and apply for the award.

Charlotte High School won the Earth Day 2021 Environmental Service Award. The award recognizes grades 6-12 for completing a school-sanctioned, environment-based project that has tangible results. To qualify as environment-based, the project must provide a benefit for Michigan flora, wildlife, air, water, land, or ecosystems.

The students at Charlotte High School have been recycling for several years, as this video explains. Each year students look for ways to expand their recycling efforts and continue to promote green living. They launched a "Caps Recycling Program" to collect plastic caps and lids with a goal to collect 300 pounds of plastic recyclables. They found a company that takes the recycled materials collected by youth organizations and produces benches, picnic tables, and other items.

Environmental Service Award program and poster contest now taking applications
The annual Environmental Service Award (ESA) competition is sponsored by the Michigan Departments of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in conjunction with an Earth Day poster contest for middle and high schools.
The Environmental Service Award (ESA) competition is for students in 6th through 12th grade.
The Earth Day Poster Contest is for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
For more information and to apply for the Environmental Service Award and the Earth Day Poster Contest, visit the Earth Day website.

Photo caption: Charlotte High School students pointing at bench made with recycled plastic caps they collected.

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