The 2019 MMSM Bag Up Manitoba program involved 168 schools across Manitoba, collecting over 1.2 million plastic bags for recycling.

“Since 2008, close to twelve million bags have been collected and recycled through this program, preventing them from going into the landfill,” said Take Pride Winnipeg! executive director Tom Ethans. “This program helps to educate students on recycling, as well as to think about alternate, reusable options to reduce waste overall.”

École J.B. Mitchell School received a bench this morning for participating in the program. The bench, created by ReGen Composites, is made out of recycled plastic bags and other materials including end-of-life plastic bins, pool plastic, lawn furniture and wood chips.

“Plastic bag reduction remains top of mind for many people and we want Manitobans to know the options they have to reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Karen Melnychuk, executive director of MMSM. “MMSM and businesses from the food, beverage and consumer good sectors, are committed to making that happen, and thanks to programs like Bag up Manitoba, we are well on our way. Thank you to all of the staff and students for their tremendous effort.”

All bags collected in the program were recycled right here in Winnipeg. ReGen Composites’ Chief Operating Officer Michelle Gowdar said 23,000 plastic bags are needed to create a bench. Six benches in total will be awarded via random draw amongst the participating schools. All schools involved will receive a set of Frisbees made from recycled plastic bags to integrate into their physical education programs.

Take Pride Winnipeg! wishes to thank its title sponsor, Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba, as well as Gardewine Group, GFL Environmental, Canada Fibres and ReGen Composites, for their assistance in making this program run smoothly.

Take Pride Winnipeg! Inc. is a registered Canadian charity whose mission is to inspire community pride, raise public awareness and promote citizen responsibility in making the city of Winnipeg clean and beautiful.

MMSM is an industry-funded, not-for-profit organization that funds and provides support for the province’s residential recycling programs for packaging and printed paper, in accordance with the Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Regulation. Its goal is to promote the reduction, reuse and recycling of the materials managed in its program while increasing recovery rates.