Thousands of people are collecting plastic milk bottle tops ‘for charity’ - but are they wasting their time?
Well-meaning folk, keen to do their bit for the environment and good causes, set aside the coloured tops, which cannot go into the blue bin for recycling in Sheffield.
Time and again people say they are collecting for a disabled child who will receive a wheelchair if they collect their body weight in tops.
But it appears to be a myth - no-one can actually name the child or the charity.
Action Desk recently published an appeal for the name of any organisation that turns the tops into money.
Reader Elizabeth Walker, aged 58, of Hollythorpe Road, Norton Lees, said she had two bags to give away.
We had a good response from collectors willing to take them, but it was always for a friend of a friend. No-one could name the company.
Retired Val Stokes, 67, of West View Lane, Totley, has been collecting for months and has a network of donors. She aims to raise money for the Sheffield branch of Diabetes UK.
She said she tracked down one company that would give cash for tops, but it’s in Portsmouth.
GHS Recycling pays £25 for 500kg - that’s a whopping 325,000 tops, or up to 200 bin bags full. The fuel costs of transporting them would be more than double that.
Val knows the financial rewards aren’t great, but she wanted to do what she could.
She said: “I have two big bin bags full but no means of transporting them to Portsmouth. I’m on a fixed income as a pensioner, but I can donate my time, and doing this is no trouble. It’s not much, but every little helps.”
Kim Miles, of GHS, said hauliers using the ferry port would sometimes agree to drop off bags of tops.
ACTION Desk approached plastics recycler Plumb Polymers, of 505 Carlisle Street East in Attercliffe, Sheffield, and manager Andrew Hamilton made a very good offer.
He said the firm would pay up to £100 a tonne for plastic milk bottle tops.
But it was vital they were clean and ‘pure’ - with all foil from the inside and sticky labels removed.
He added: “We’ve not had people contact us about milk bottle tops before.
“But we will pay £100 a tonne for the right sort. It’s best if collectors contact us first.”
Bottle tops can be ground up and turned into new ones, or into kids’ play equipment and plant pots.
Call Plumb Polymers on 0114 243 4341.