For years, we've been told to not recycle plastic bottle caps along with the plastic bottles they come with, but to discard them. The reason is that caps are typically made of polypropylene or "#5" plastic, while bottles are made of polyethylene terepthalate, or "#1" and "PET" plastic, causing problems for recycling plants when they are not separated.
No wonder it's been a bit of a heart-wrenching dilemma, knowing that these caps end up in landfills, or worse, floating in some oceanic gyre as plastic bits. Some companies have stepped up to the challenge of recycling them, while designers like Hong Kong's Kacama propose turning them into stylish seating for the home.
Seen over at Designboom, Kacama's PP Capsule is a flexible beanbag chair made with recycled polyester fabrics and filled with over 4,000 plastic caps each. Created by local seamstresses under a social enterprise and community development program, the beanbags are new items that re-use post-consumer waste materials, which require less energy to produce.
It's a beautiful design that looks comfortable and sturdy enough to sit on. The only stickler is that there's no information on how the beanbag might be recycled after their useful life -- especially what could be done with the plastic chips (would recycling plants take them, or could a company initiate some kind of specific recycling program?). In any case, it's a good start; check out more of Kacama's eco-friendly design concepts over on their website.