Juice jugs and more: 3 Vancouver bands make music with recycled containers

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      What happens when musicians meet plastic bottles, tetra packs, and a whole lot of recyclable containers that have been saved from landfills? They make music, of course. Recently, three local bands were challenged by Return-It and CBC Music to create covers of their songs using self-created instruments.

      The bands, Hey Ocean!, Shred Kelly, and Yukon Blonde fashioned together drums made of juice cans, taped together tetra packs, and made shakers out of plastic bottles, then shot music videos around the lower mainland. The videos were placed online with cash prizes that would be donated to charities of the bands’ choosing.

      First place winner, Shred Kelly, made a ukulele out of an orange juice jug and a cymbal from cut up, unrolled aluminum cans. 

      Shred Kelly: "My Vessel, My Grave"


      Hey Ocean! landed in second place with their incorporation of harmonies and notes made from varying water levels in old Perrier bottles.  

      Hey Ocean!: "If I Were A Ship"


      Yukon Blonde took third with a unique take on creating sound by crushing soda cans on the floor, and a shaker made from aluminum pull tabs. 

      Yukon Blonde: "I Wanna Be Your Man"


      The bands donated their cash prize amounts to their choice charities: Shred Kelly’s Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Science (CARAS), Hey Ocean!’s Sitka Society for Conservation, and Yukon Blonde’s Hives for Humanity.

      The challenge was part of Encorp Pacific’s Green Tracks program, designed to raise awareness of the amount of recyclable containers that end up in the landfill. Scott Fraser, CEO of Encorp Pacific said, “In British Columbia, people recycle 80 percent of the used beverage containers, which is one of the highest recovery rates in the country, but we always strive to do better.” Even at the higher recovery rate, the remaining 20 percent of containers that don’t get recycled equals to over 242 million bottles, cans and tetra packs, many of those, being dumped into the landfill each year.