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 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.

New for 2019! Beyond the Bag


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.

How it works

  • Register online at plasticbaggrab.com from February 19 - April 15. During registration you will be asked to select your local Walmart location and preferred time for drop-off.
  • Learn about plastics waste and the importance of the 3Rs hierarchy using the program resources
  • Collect bags for recycling from Monday, April 15 – Friday, April 26 (optional). 
  • Share how your school community is taking action to reduce plastic bag use and waste
  • Drop off your school's collected bags at your selected Walmart location where they will be collected for responsible recycling
  • Submit your final results. To be eligible to win the participation prize, schools must register and complete a final submission form before drop-off that includes:
    • Total number of plastic bags collected.
    • Total number of students who participated in the challenge
    • A photo of the plastics bags collected and/or a summary of how your school took action on plastic bag waste and engaged in the 3Rs
    • The URL or account name(s) of your social media submission(s). 


2019 prize information coming soon!

2019 Dates

Registration opens: Tuesday, February 19

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 6

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.