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P.S. 105 tops in recycling drink pouches

P.S. 105 is one of the top schools when it comes to collecting drink pouches for recycling.

As part of the “Drink Pouch Brigade” program, the makers of Capri Sun and recycler TerraCycle have collected 50 million drink pouches nationwide. The squishy juicy-drink holders are recycled and made into new materials for eco-friendly products.

P.S. 105 has been named the top Drink Pouch Brigadiers because the school has been especially helpful in collecting drink pouches to be recycled. For every group of drink pouches turned in, the school receives a small monetary grant.

For the past two years, students in Marian McClain’sfirst grade class, aided by two helpers in the 4th grade, have recycled more than 38,000 Capri Sun drink pouches. They also collect other brands.

Principal Christopher Eustace said that he encouraged school participation in January 2008 after McClain approached him. The recycling program has promoted environmental consciousness.

“It has become part of the culture of the school; so everyone knows what we do when we get the Capri Sun drink pouches,” Eustace said. “We are very excited and proud because we know that recycling is an important issue and we want the students to be involved.”

Eustace said that the school has a recycling committee and the whole school community has become part of the project. He said that students are helping not just themselves, but the fate of the environment, when they recycle.

McClain has two bins in the school’s cafeteria in which she collects the drink pouches. After the school’s classes have their lunch periods, and the bins fill up, 4th grade children bring the bins to her classroom.

Her students empty the excess juice from the pouches, and carefully remove the straws that often remain in the soft, plastic containers. McClain said that 17 pounds of empty drink pouches were collected last month. When a large amount is collected, she takes the empty pouches and packs them into box with a prepaid shipping label that sends the pouches to be recycled.

“At the end of the year, I give the children a pencil case that is made from the recycled juice pouches,” McClain said. “Every month, I rotate the recycling jobs so that everyone in the class gets that chance to help recycle. Usually recycling projects are just done around Earth Day, but we recycle from the beginning of the year.”

It is a group effort, because without help from her fellow teachers and their classes, collecting the drink pouches would not be a success.

“We have been doing this for a couple of years, and this has really been a group effort,” McClain said. “The whole school gets involved and is participating.”

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