About the challenge

The Plastic Bag Grab challenge is a waste reduction program for elementary schools across Canada that engages schools and students on the 3Rs hierarchy: reduce, reuse, and recycle. The challenge, which can be integrated into educational curriculum, is open to all Canadian students from junior-kindergarten to grade eight. 

We are thrilled to announce that Plastic Bag Grab challenge is back for 2018! Last year, 541 schools across Canada participated in the challenge and collected more than 2 million plastic bags for recycling, while engaging their communities on the 3Rs! We’ve made some exciting new changes for 2018, so please take note of the information below.

What's new?

For two years, the challenge has encouraged students to collect as many single-use plastic bags from their homes and communities as they can for recycling.

Now in its third year, the program will 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 2018 (April 16-20), 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.

How it works

  • Register online at plasticbaggrab.com from March 12-April 13. 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 16 – Friday, April 20 (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 through our program partner, Trex (located in Virgina, USA)
  • 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 from Kindergarten to grade 8 who participated in the challenge
    • A fun 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). 


Grand Prize - 3Rs Community Engagement   

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

New for 2018!   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 2018 Plastic Bag Grab Challenge and best communicates their action to reduce plastic waste in their school community.

Social Media Prize 

Prize: $500 (per province/territory)

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.

Collection and Recycling Participation Prize

New for 2018!  All schools who register to participate in the Plastic Bag Grab 2018 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)

Note: only one prize available per school.

2018 Dates

Registration opens: Monday, March 12

Registration closes: Friday, April 13

Bag collection: Monday, April 16 – Friday, April 20

Bag drop off: Monday, April 23 – Thursday, April 26

Final Results & Community Engagement/Social Media Submission Deadline: May 4

Winners announced: May 2018


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.