4-Hers help turn bottle caps into fair furniture

Seventy-five 4-Hers and community members gathered Saturday, February 9, to sort through bags of laundry detergent, sour cream, water bottle and just about every other kind of plastic cap. The group set aside 726 lbs. of clean, recyclable caps that will now be transformed into new benches for the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.

The project brings together recycling, community service, working together and helps enhance the fairgrounds, explained Jan Robinson, chairperson of the fair’s green committee. “It’s a win-win-win-win.”

It takes about 400 lbs. of caps and a sponsorship of $285 to create one bench. The sponsorship amount covers the production of the bench and a plaque naming the sponsor.

The Elkhart County 4-H Fair has been working with Green Tree Plastics out of Evansville since beginning the program four years ago. Green Tree Plastics processes the caps into park benches and picnic tables. So far, 60 recycled benches are spread throughout the fairgrounds during the fair and other major events. A recycled picnic table, created in honor of longtime fair board member Robert “Doc” Abel, sets during fair time near the Junior Leaders’ concession stand.

The 4-H clubs involved collect the caps throughout the year. Community members can also collect their own and email elkhartcountygreenfair@gmail.com to coordinate a drop-off or pick-up of the caps. Learn more about the “Lids for Benches” process here.