Two boys, some bottletops and a big recycling idea

Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:16pm EST
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By Nick Rosen

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A small town in New Jersey has become a collection center for plastic bottle tops after two schoolchildren began collecting them to help the environment.

Max and Jacob Malamed of Tenafly, N.J. started collecting caps and tops after learning that when plastic or glass bottles are recycled, the accompanying tops usually become landfill.

Birds and animals can then be attracted to the brightly colored plastic, which they ingest causing injury or death in some cases.

This is a particularly severe problem for marine life, and Max Malamed, 9, became concerned that his favorite bird, the Penguin, was among those being injured.

"If they eat the bottle tops they choke and die," said Max.

Earlier this year he persuaded his brother Jacob to join him in gathering up their town's bottle top surplus.

Soon the two boys had convinced their respective school grades to join in. Max is a 4th grader at J. Spencer Smith Elementary School and his 13-year old older brother Jacob is at Tenafly Middle School.

Since May this year they have collected roughly 29,000 tops. The target for the next 12 months is over 50,000 tops, their mother Lisa said.   Continued...

<p>Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand throws a bottle of water towards land before the men's single sculls semifinal rowing competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park August 13, 2008. REUTERS/Aly Song</p>