During 2013, the Colombian population have gone bottle cap-collecting crazy.
They aimed to help the Fundación Sanar (a charity dedicated to children with cancer) break the record for the most bottle caps recycled in 8 hours, with proceeds raised from the sale of the caps helping 500 children diagnosed with cancer.
The big weigh-in took place on the outskirts of the South American country's capital, Bogotá. According to the Guinness World Records rules, the bottle caps can be collected beforehand but there is an 8-hour time limit to bring everything to one place for weighing and eventual recycling. Sanar called on the help of the state postal service, 4-72, who transported the plastic from every corner of Colombia to the event site. Once there, the National Police took charge with 300 cadets helping with the moving and loading of huge bags of bottle caps.
The bottle caps were loaded by forklift truck onto huge trailers – they passed into the unloading site, stopping first on the set of scales that were being watched by the Guinness World Records adjudicator Ralph Hannah. Each truck was weighed with its load as it went in and unloaded as it came out of the closed area, so the total weight of the bottle caps could be determined. During the day hundreds of families also showed up to hand in their donations however big or small and contribute to the record attempt.
It took just 4 of the stipulated 8 hours to pass the previous record of 91,017.8 kg (200,659.901 lb) set in Argentina in 2011 by another children’s charity, Fundación Garrahan. The target for Sanar was 100 tonnes (100,000 kg/220,462.262 lb), but they soon realized that the level of support from Colombia´s population of 45 million was much greater than even their wildest dreams.
The bottle caps kept being loaded up and the trucks kept passing through the scales. As the clock ticked down to 4:00 pm (the end of the 8 hour timeframe), the last few bags of bottle caps were rushed to the scales with every kilo counting. The final total was announced as a whopping 156,460 kg (344,935 lb), which represents approximately more than 70 million bottle caps. The official certificate was presented to Elizabeth Campos, the Director of Sanar Bogota, who thanked everybody present and all who had helped not just during the day but over the whole campaign.
Not to end with just one world record, she assured the public that the bottle top recycling will continue next year with a brand new drive.