Yesterday, the sky over Cambridge heaved with rain and our Wednesday group had to come up with an alternative to our scheduled spray-painting activities. Luckily, a solution quickly presented itself in the form of 3 bin bags stuffed with plastic bottle tops.
These have come to us and the Buchan Street Neighborhood Centre from a variety of sources around the country. Helpful people have collected them for one charity or another, but when the time came to deliver the tops no one could take them. Luckily, we have a group of willing individuals whose response to a towering pile of plastic lids was “Oooooh, fun!” And it really was! We spent the morning sorting and separating all the lids into piles by their type and colour. What did we learn?
* hundreds of bottle tops make a cool noise when you dig through them
* There’s a lot of variation on colour, even among similar types of lids.
* When grouped together, the range of colours is quite pretty
* People in the UK really like semi-skimmed milk.
Now that all the different lids are separated by type, our next task will be to wash and dry them. I have no idea how we’re going to manage that! My biggest concern now is what to do with them once they’re all clean. Don’t get me wrong, there are dozens of cool ways to upcycle them. But I strongly feel that if anyone can actually get a wheelchair in exchange for some of these lids, then their need should take priority over our urge to make cool stuff.
My searches have turned up a number of people who have responded to appeals for “milk tops for wheelchairs” or “plastic lids for prosthetic limbs” which ultimately were revealed as hoaxes. Does anyone in the UK (especially in Cambridgeshire) know of a charity that is really and truly collecting milk tops? If you do, please get in touch–we have bin bags full, that sorted and ready to go!
Or, have you been left holding a bag of tops? Check back here and I’ll post updates with whatever I find out. In the meantime, we’re going to work on upcycling all the non-milk lids (believe me, we’ve got loads of those too!) and we’ll post photos of our work as it’s finished.