Bag Up Manitoba 2015 - Results are in!
Thank you Manitoba students and teachers - over 1.46 million plastic bags were saved from landfill and recycled during the month of October!
Every school who participated in the program received a garden box made out of recycled plastic bags and wood fibers. Fourteen lucky schools also won a school bench made out of the same material. Half the benches were awarded based on number of bags collected, and the other half were awarded via a random draw. This encourages smaller schools to participate and emphasizes the message of waste reduction.
Since 2008, over seven million bags have been kept from the landfills!
Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) has partnered on this important initiative for the past six years. In 2010, a reduction target was placed on single-use plastic bags by the provincial government with a goal of a 50% reduction by 2015. “Manitobans have clearly got the message because in a little over five years, we have already seen a 72.5% reduction, reuse and recycling of plastic bags,” said Karen Melnychuk, Executive Director MMSM. “By working with schools, we have an opportunity to make significant breakthroughs in several critical areas including recycling, plastic bag reduction and the environment. It’s the students who take this message home and teach their parents and other family members.”
IMPORTANT PROGRAM CHANGES FOR 2016
We want to be sure that students really learn about single-use plastic bag reduction as part of Bag Up Manitoba. Many schools in rural Manitoba collect their bags all year long to enter the program, which is a good alternative when no recycling programs exist in their area. For most rural schools though, and for all schools within Winnipeg, there are recycling options year-round. Most large grocery chains, as well as many big-box retailers accept plastic bags for recycling – it’s simply a matter of asking at the customer service desk of your favourite stores and remembering to bring bags back with you on a regular basis.
Students collect bags for one month, so they can get a real feel for the volume of plastic that is wasted, and start thinking about ways to reduce that waste. We wish to emphasize the message of reduction, rather than the competitive nature of a “contest” to win a bench for the school. To that end, all schools participating in 2016 will be required to submit a short essay or project detailing ways that students, and the community at large, can reduce their use of single-use bags and bulk packaging.
In addition, all 14 benches will be awarded by random draws.
We will still require that schools count their bags, because those results are an important benchmark for the success of the program.
As always, special thanks to our program sponsors:
- Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba
- Progressive Waste Solutions
Bag Up Manitoba 2015 bench winners (in no particular order):
- Victor Mager School
- Ralph Brown School
- Pacific Junction School
- Ecole George V
- Polson School
- Bairdmore School
- Ecole Margaret-Underhill
- Earl Oxford School (Brandon MB)
- McCreary School (McCreary MB)
- Ste. Rose School (Ste. Rose du Lac MB)
- Winnipegosis Elementary School (Winnipegosis MB)
- Teulon Elementary School (Teulon MB)
- Ross L Gray School (Sprague MB)
- Maple Leaf School (Morden MB)