TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - For some, the concept of sorting and weighing lunch waste might seem
like a sticky, smelly nuisance. Not so for the 200,000 Ontario
elementary students that participated in Recycling Council of Ontario's
2011 Waste-Free Lunch Challenge. These students have embraced
environmentalism wholeheartedly and proven that waste minimization is
as easy as reduce, reuse, recycle!
During Waste Reduction Week in Canada, nearly 800 schools from 62
different school boards across the province participated in the Annual
Waste-Free Lunch Challenge. During the week, participating schools
were able to prevent and divert 25 tonnes of lunch material from
entering the landfill—that is roughly the weight of two school buses!
"Students have passionately committed to going waste-free. Their results
are incredible! Many schools were successfully able to measure
individual students' lunch waste to under 10 grams—that is roughly the
weight of two nickels!" said Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director,
Recycling Council of Ontario. "The students have clearly demonstrated
how simple changes make all the difference."
Designed to help schools reduce the amount of garbage they generate from
lunches, the Waste-Free Lunch Challenge educates students, staff and
parents about waste and its impacts. Students were taught how to pack
waste-free lunches that use reusable, refillable and recyclable
containers. Schools sorted, weighed and recorded their lunchtime waste
generation throughout the week— and the lightest schools won!
Thirty schools were recognized as the most successful in reducing the
amount of waste generated and will each receive a grand prize donated
by Metro Ontario Inc and Tetra Pak Canada, the program's two corporate
partners. Grand prize winners will receive educational experiences for
their students, or, $1000 environmental grant for use in school-based
"We are honored to partner with RCO & Metro and proactively support a
program that raises students' and schools' awareness about the key role
they play in reducing waste in landfills. Together, we will protect
what's good for future generations by giving carton packaging a second
life and promoting carton recycling," said Elisabeth Comere, Director,
Environment and Government Affairs, Tetra Pak Inc. "We congratulate all
of the 200,000 students that participated in this year's Waste-Free
"The Waste-Free Lunch Program has helped educators across the province
offer hands-on environmental lessons for Ontario students and Metro is
proud to be a part of this great Program" said Johanne Choinière,
Senior Vice President, Metro Ontario Inc.
Educational skits, school assemblies, 3D posters, songs, student-created
videos, recycling sculptures, invitations to political leaders, and
front lobby displays communicating daily results are just some of the
activities that informed and motivated program participants to continue
to reduce their lunch waste.
For more information about the program and view the winning schools at: http://www.wastefreelunch.com/winners-2011. Learn more about Metro Ontario at www.metro.ca. Learn more about Tetra Pak Canada at www.tetrapak.ca.
About The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO)
The Recycling Council of Ontario's (RCO) Waste-Free Lunch Challenge is
an environmental education program that aims to support educators and
students to reduce waste generated from school lunches. RCO is a
not-for-profit, membership-based organization committed to minimizing
society's impact on the environment by eliminating waste. Please visit www.wastefreelunch.com.
Image with caption: "Waste-Free Lunch Challenge (WFLC) winners display their daily recycling, composting and garbage. Over 200,000 students participated in the 2011 WFLC; Burlington's Halton Waldorf School is one of 30 grand prize winners. WFLC was developed by the Recycling Council of Ontario in partnership with Metro Ontario and Tetra Pak Canada. (CNW Group/Recycling Council of Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120118_C4822_PHOTO_EN_9022.jpg
SOURCE Recycling Council of Ontario
For further information:
For interview opportunities, please contact:
Jo-Anne St. Godard
Executive Director, Recycling Council of Ontario
416-657-2797, ext. 3