Community Engagement

The Plastic Bag Grab challenge rewards schools that engage their community on plastic waste and the 3Rs both in-school and on social media. Community engagement/social media prizes are awarded based on creativity, efforts to engage the school community, and incorporation into the school curriculum. 

Need some inspriation? Here's some ideas:

  • Interview your municipality and get information about plastic bag waste in your community. Possible questions:
    • Are plastic bags accepted in our municipal recycling program?
    • Are there any initiatives that take action to reduce plastic bag waste?
    • How many plastic bags are used in our municipality each year?
    • How can we reduce the amount of plastic in our community?
    • Has ______ municipality considered implementing a plastic bag ban (or single-use plastics ban)?  If so, when do you plan to phase them out by?
  • Expand plastic bag reduction to the rest of the community by implementing initiatives that encourage your community to reduce bags. In 2016 St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary School continued plastic bag awareness throughout the year by starting the “Say No” campaign within their community in Hamilton, ON. 

  • Create awareness by making a public installation or artwork using reused plastic bags.
  • Reach out to local media outlets such as radio stations, newspapers, and blogs to help spread the word on your school's involvement in plastic waste reduction.
  • Organize a cleanup in your school yard or local community. 
  • Host a school event and invite parents, local organizations, and government to celebrate your school’s involvement in waste reduction.
  • Create lesson plans and activities and share them on social media to help other schools educate on the 3Rs.
  • Create posters explaining how to reduce, reuse, and recycling bags in your community. 
  • Create videos such as Public Service Announcements and 'How To'
  • Visit local retailers and encourage them to take action on plastic bag waste. Initiatives include: plastic bag levies and promoting reusable bags. 
  • Challenge your classroom, school, or community to go plastic-free for an entire week. Reward those who choose reusable items instead of single-use. 
  • Take a pledge to reduce single-use plastics as a school, community, or individual. 
  • Upcycle plastic bags into mats for the homeless

Make sure to catch everything on camera and share on social media using the hashtag #PlasticBagGrab by May . 

Community Engagement Highlights

Chiganois Elementary in Debert, Nova Scotia demonstrate the link between humans and the environement.

Chiganois Elementary in Debert, Nova Scotia demonstrate the link between humans and the environement.

Elmsdale District School in Ensdale, Nova Scotia knows the 3Rs will help save the world. 

Teachers at Rankin School of Narrows in Iona, Nova Scotia incorporated the Plastic Bag Grab challenge into school curriculum. 

O'leary Elementary in O'leary, PEI took part in an exciting recycling challenge the week of April 18, 2016. 

Students at St. Mary's Catholic School in Beaverlodge, Alberta help make the sky blue with their recycling efforts.

Students at Yorkhill Elementary in Vaughn, Ontario discover what it's like to swim in plastic.  


Yo So Eco Loco



Say No to Plastic

Some helpful tips on how to manage plastics waste from Emerson Elementary School


A grade 5 student at Red Bluff reached out to a local grocery store about plastic bag waste, and thanks to her the store is now charging a 5 cent plastic bag fee. She also went to the Mayor's office to spread the word and is now getting ready to present to city council.

Birchmount School from Moncton, NB engaged their community in so many ways: a Ted Talk Event, meeting with the Mayor, and being interviewed on local radio stations. Listen here: Radio clip #1Radio clip #2

Bessborough School in Moncton NB got creative and repurposed their bags into various different things such as mats, skipping ropes, and fashion accessories. They also made it on local tv! 

Riverside School in Albert Ridge Nova Scotia took a plastics pledge to protect the earth and oceans. 

Riverside School

Whitbourne Elementary School did a logo design contest. The winning logo will be printed onto reusable bags and sold in participating local stores.

Whitbourne Elementary School

St. Teresa's School in St. John's Newfoundland created a display to raise awareness on protection of our oceans.

Plastic bag turtle display

Georges Vanier's Green Team, the Eco Sprouts gave some tips on the 3Rs

Holy Family School in Red Deer, Alberta loves the earth and reducing plastics waste!

Plastic Bag Heart

Elder's Mills Public School's Eco Pledge and Mannequin Challenge!

Plastic Bag Grab in the News

The Plastic Bag Grab challenge encourages schools to engage in their communities, and reaching out to local media outlets is a great way to do so! Did your school feature in a local news article, radio station, or on tv for Plastic Bag Grab? Let us know! Send your story to and we'll post it below. For news from previous years, click here.

Pleasantdale students saluted for commitment to the environment (Estevan Mercury: June 22, 2018)

Seaview Elementary a winner in Canada-wide plastic bag challenge (Nanaimo News Bulletin: June 21, 2018)

West Highlands lead province in plastics recycling challenge (Cumberland News Now: June 21, 2018)

Kelowna elementary school wins nationwide prize for plastic waste initiative (Kelowna Now: June 19, 2018)

Iona students really thinking green (Cape Breton Post: May 16, 2018)

The Plasticity of Young Minds at Bessborough School, Moncton NB (BuzzLocal.Tv: April 2018)

Radio interview with Abby & Evan from Birchmount School, Moncton NB (91.9 The Bend: April 2018)

Radio interview with Evan & Ethan from Birchmount School, Moncton NB (K94.5: April 2018)

Springhill schools take on plastic bag challenge (Cumberland News Now: April 18, 2018)

Sauver la planète un sac à la fois (CBC Radio Canada: April 19, 2018)

Plastic Bag Grab Challenge in Action

Thank you to all the schools and communities who have helped make a difference, one plastic bag at a time since 2016. Check out our slideshow highlighting just some of the amazing efforts from schools across the country.