Swimming caps are a large source of ocean swimming waste. Often only once used, destined for land-fill or the ocean itself, events have not got a handle on to how to appropriately use them. And despite popular belief, they do not break down in the environment in any useful timeframe. They are important facets of ocean swimming safety so that swimmers can be seen in the water and in their racing waves, but at the end of each season, even mediocre swimmers like myself end up with a bag full of caps, never to be used again.

So, what can you do? I've been collecting caps for Recap over the last few summers to give them on to good causes. One of those places they go is Reverse Garbage, an organisation that saves materials from landfill and renews their value by making them available for reuse by families, students, artists and community groups. Each year, they take about 35 thousand cubic meters of waste for reuse, saving tonnes of raw material, energy and emissions.

I spoke with Kirsten Junor, Creative Director at Reverse Garbage, about what she does with the caps, what Reverse Garbage does in general, interspersed with all sorts of reuse/recycle discussion. We recorded in the pub - surely the best way to spend an afternoon recording a podcast - so occasionally the sound quality dips.

Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License:


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