Elementary schools across Canada invited to take the Plastic Bag Grab challenge

TORONTO, April 15, 2016 /CNW/ - It is estimated that more than 1 billion bags are given out across Canada every year. In the spirit of waste reduction and environmental awareness, Waste Reduction Week in Canada and recycling councils across Canada challenge elementary schools to collect as many plastic carry-out shopping bags for recycling as part of Earth Week 2016: April 18-22, 2016.

Schools that take part in the Plastic Bag Grab challenge in each province and territory are eligible for a first place prize of $3,000; second place of $2,000; and third place of $1,000, based on the number of bags they collect per student. In addition, a national social media prize will be awarded to the school that posts the most creative photo of the bag collection efforts to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #PlasticBagGrab. Plastic bags collected as part of the challenge can be dropped off at their local Walmart store Sunday, April 24Friday, April 29 between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The bags collected will be remanufactured into a variety of plastic products including composite lumber, reusable bags, plant pots, and piping.

"With so many plastic bags handed out every day it's important to remind ourselves to reduce the amount we use, reuse where we can, and recycle wherever possible," says Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director of Recycling Council of Ontario. "The Plastic Bag Grab challenge is a way to bring attention to the issues of bag consumption and use, and show that small actions collectively have a positive impact."

"Walmart is fully committed to reducing waste in the communities we serve and is thrilled to support Recycling Council of Ontario's initiative," says Christine Bomé, Senior Director Public Affairs at Walmart Canada. "We are encouraged by recycling initiatives like these that not only support the recovery of thousands of single-use plastic shopping bags but also help to build vital awareness of the need to reduce plastic waste."

For more information on registration and reporting details, as well as collection and recycling please visit www.PlasticBagGrab.com.

About Recycling Council of Ontario

Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) is a not-for-profit membership-based organization committed to minimizing society's impact on the environment by eliminating waste. RCO's mission is to inform and educate all members of society about the avoidance of waste, efficient use of resources, and the benefits and/or consequences of these activities. www.rco.on.ca / @RCOntario

About Walmart Canada and Zero Waste

Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of 400 stores nationwide serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. Walmart Canada's flagship online store, www.walmart.ca, is visited by 500,000 customers daily. With more than 95,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is ranked as one of the country's top 10 most influential brands. Creating zero waste across its operations is a global Walmart sustainability goal. Walmart Canada's 12 dedicated waste reduction programs divert 80% of its operational waste from landfill. These waste programs range from cardboard to paint to organic matter. The company has set plastic film as one of its current waste reduction priorities and is asking customers to switch from single-use plastic shopping bags to reusable bags.

SOURCE Recycling Council of Ontario

For further information: media@rco.on.ca; 416.657.2797, ext. 6

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