About the challenge

We are thrilled to announce that Plastic Bag Grab challenge is back for 2019! Since 2016, more than 502,000 students across Canada have taken action to reduce plastic waste in their school communities while collecting more than 52 metric tonnes of single use plastic bags for recycling. Now in its fourth year, the program will continue to focus on reduce and reuse – the most important step in the 3Rs hierarchy. As such, the challenge will reward schools that encourage and promote ideas and solutions that result in reducing how many bags are used and wasted in their communities.
During Earth Week 2019 (April 15 - 26), schools are challenged to learn and take action on plastics waste by reducing their use, while collecting discarded plastic bags (that cannot be reused) for recycling in their schools and beyond. The Plastic Bag Grab challenge is an environmental awareness program that engages schools and students on the 3Rs hierarchy: reduce, reuse, and recycle and can be incorporated into existing curriculum.

What's new for 2019?

The Plastic Bag Grab challenge is now open to all elementary & secondary schools from across Canada, and the collection window has been expanded to two weeks (April 15 - 26).  In addition to Plastic Bag Grab, we are expanding the challenge into a year-long program called Beyond the Bag. Through a series of activities and challenges, Beyond the Bag aims to further engage schools on the issue of plastics waste. Stay tuned! Beyond the Bag launches during Earth Month, with new challenges beginning in Fall 2019.

What if my school is not interested or able to collect plastic bags for recycling?

No problem! Collecting bags is not a requirement to participate. Schools can still take part and be eligible for community engagement and social media prizes (registration is still required). Visit plasticbaggrab.com/community-engagement for ideas to involve your school and community on reduction of single-use plastics!

How it works



All participating schools are eligible to win prizes for the Plastic Bag Grab challenge. Please visit PlasticBagGrab.com/community-engagement for more take-action ideas and submission instructions for community engagement/social media prizes. Note: only one prize available per school. 

A grand prize of $1000 will be awarded to one school in each province/territory who best embraces the reduce and reuse objectives of the 2019 Plastic Bag Grab Challenge and best communicates their action to reduce plastic waste in their school community.

Prize: $1,000 (1 per province/territory)

Prince Charles Elementary Plastic Bag Grab Challenge

Awarded to schools that post creative and educational photos or videos to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook using #PlasticBagGrab. A team of judges will determine winners based on the entries that best showcase the school’s commitment to promoting the 3Rs.

Prize: $500 (1 per province/territory)

St Teresa School Plastic Bag Grab challenge

All schools who register to participate in the Plastic Bag Grab 2019 will be entered into a draw to win regardless of the number of bags reduced and/or collected.  The draw rewards participation and provides for an equal opportunity for ALL schools to be recognized.

All registered schools that participate in any reduction/recycling activities and submit a final submission form will be entered into a draw to win:

•     $500 (1 per province/territory) or

•     Trex bench – made entirely from recycled plastic bags (1 per province/territory)

2019 Dates

Registration closes: Monday, April 15 (5 p.m. EST)

Bag collection: Monday, April 15 – Friday, April 26

Bag drop off: Monday, April 29 – Friday, May 3

Final Results & Community Engagement/Social Media Submission Deadline: May 10

Winners announced: May 2019


About Recycling Council of Ontario

Recycling Council of Ontario

The Plastic Bag Grab challenge is a program of 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.

Since 1978 our commitment to Reduce,Reuse, Recycling has driven our actions, and is the bedrock of our efforts to help facilitate the efficient use of resources and transition the economy from a linear to circular model where post-consumed materials are integrated back into use and production cycles. We also have a long history of designing and executing high profile school campaigns and public events that showcase the 3Rs into learning opportunities and action.