No.163 (5/28/10)

ECOCAP: Love the Earth & Love the Children

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

The Ecocap Movement has started as a non-profit organization in Yokohama since 2007 in order to aim at the three major goals -- recycling, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and providing children in developing countries with vaccines. The movement idea was originated from some high school girls in Kanagawa prefecture. “Throwing away used plastic bottle caps is mottainai (such a waste)!”

Such a daily thought now has been growing throughout Japan. Schools, local community associations, and companies collect used pet bottle caps and bring to designated organizations. After the Ecocap Movement office receives them, recyclers purchase those caps for 20 yen per 800 caps; for example, it applies to one child's polio vaccination. The collected funds go to the Japan committee for Vaccines for the World’s Children (JCV.) Then, JCV requests UNICEF to provide vaccines. Today, a massive amount of plastic bottles are used in many countries. Those caps and bottles cannot be mixed and recycles together because mixing them with other trash generate CO2 emissions in incineration plants or cause soil contamination in landfill projects. In contrast, they can be recycled and reused in products such as concrete panels, ballpoint pens, and chopsticks etc. when colleted separately from other trash.

As of March 19, 2010, 32, 130 groups and individuals collected 1,244,079,460 caps. Anyone of any age can participate this activity. In our neighborhood, Max Valu by the White Pole Road and many AEON centers are designated organization.

The Ecocap Movement is engaged in the following specified nonprofit activities to meet its goals:
1. Activities to conserve the environment
2. Activities to enhance health, medical acre, and welfare
3. Activities to promote social education
4. International cooperation activities
5. Activities to support groups and organizations engaged in any of the above activities through providing communications, advice and assistance on their management and activities

1. Projects related to spedified nonprofit activities
a. Projects to collect plastic bottle caps
b. Projects to improve the global environment
c. Projects to support activities of providing children in the world with vaccines and saving their lives
d. Projects to assist the disable in supporting themselves

2. Other projects
a. Advertising business
b. Sale of goods
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