Kendall Jenner’s Bottle Cap Challenge Has Upset Environmentalists

A deep dive into the controversy surrounding her bottle cap challenge.

amfAR Cannes Gala 2019 - Kendall Jenner Portraits
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Kendall Jenner is no stranger to controversy, ranging from full-scale fiascos like her infamous Pepsi commercial to the simple fact that she’s never eaten a Hershey’s kiss. Her latest lands somewhere in the middle of that scale; depending on how you look at it, the 23-year-old model has managed to upset environmentalists by simply, like seemingly every other celebrity before her, participating in the so-called “bottle cap challenge.”

On Monday, a day after Hailey Bieber challenged her to participate—which is to say, to attempt to remove the cap from the top of a bottle via an expertly delivered roundhouse kick—Jenner posted a video of herself smoothly executing the challenge while riding a jet ski in a lime green bikini on Instagram. The response was immediate—particularly from Jenner’s many family members, including her sisters Kim, Khloé, Kylie, and Kourtney, and her mom Kris Jenner, who commented “Kenny this is WILD.” Everyone from Karlie Kloss to La La Anthony to Vanessa Hudgens to Taylor Lautner also left comments expressing their awe, and the video has racked up more than 25 million views.

As for the comments, there are currently more than 95,000—more than double the usual amount on Jenner’s posts. Alas, not everyone has considered her moves as praiseworthy as the Kardashians. For those reluctant to scroll through the tens of thousands of remarks, well, here’s a sampling: “Now your bottle cap is in the ocean,” “pollution in one video,” “did you pick the cap up out of the water after you filmed this or did you leave it for a turtle to choke on? ? #ILikeTurtles,” “save the turtles ?,” and “this is why animals (turtles) are dying.” Those, like many others, have each racked up around 100 of their own likes.”

Suffice it to say, it’s the biggest controversy involving a Kardashian dropping something in the ocean since Kim lost that earring in Bora Bora.

Eventually, Jenner seems to have realized that she had courted controversy once again, at which point she left a comment of her own: “cap recovered,” which included a kissing heart emoji. Still, plenty remain unconvinced; for every fan that’s been defending Jenner by drawing attention to her clarification, there seems to be at least one Instagram user ready to sow doubt with a “sure, Jan” or similar retaliatory comment.

It may seem like there are bigger fish to fry, but her critics do have a point: According to Project AWARE, a nonprofit dedicated to ocean conservation, bottle caps are among the top five deadliest ocean trash items that are deadly for sea life, and yet more than 20 million have been found during beach activities around the world over the last 30 years. Whether Jenner has contributed to that problem, we may never know—unless someone can convince Kylie to take her deep sea diving skills to Greece.

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