St. Elizabeth Captures ’14 Cleanup Challenge

An Aiea parochial school rose to the challenge this year, collecting the most bottle caps per capita in the state.

For its immediate reward, St. Elizabeth School wins a “surprise” lunchtime concert by Jack Johnson as a way for Kokua Hawaii Foundation to reward the winners of the 2014 Bottle Cap Challenge – a campaign to rid the Islands of the tiny, ubiquitous, polluting plastic debris.

The monthlong competition removed 21,862 caps from state lands, and the collection has been shipped to California, where it will be recycled into Ocean Plastic bottles by Method and toothbrushes and razor handles by Preserve.

The award-winning North Shore musician also is donating all proceeds from his new live EP, From Here To Now To You, to support the nonprofit’s environmental education programs in the schools and community. Partners in the effort were Method, Preserve, RRR Recycling, T&N Computer Recycling, Aveda and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Along with the 11 other top collectors, St. Elizabeth students won a Waste-Free Classroom Celebration Kit (cloth napkins, reusable utensils, hand soap, etc.). Mililani Mauka Elementary School won for most bottle caps collected overall, and Johnson serenaded them April 21. Aiea Hongwanji Mission Academy placed first among preschools for its collection efforts, and Aiea High placed third among high schools for its drive.

Johnson and his wife Kim established Kokua Hawaii Foundation in 2003 to foster lifelong stewardship for the earth among Hawaii’s keiki.