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Elementary schools are collecting plastic bags to recycle

With more than one billion plastic bags given out in the country a year, students in B.C. are being encouraged to take part in a new challenge.

Waste Reduction Week in Canada and recycling councils across Canada are challenging elementary schools to collect as many plastic carry-out bags for recycling.

The challenge will be taking place on April 18 to 22. The school that collects the most plastic bags per province will win $3,000, the second place prize is $2,000 and the third place is a $1,000 cheque.

"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," said 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."

A social media prize will also be awarded to the school that posts the most creative photo of bags with the hashtag #PlasticBagGrab.

All of the plastic bags can be dropped off at local Walmart locations from Sunday, April 24 until Friday, April 29. All of the bags will be remanufactured into a variety of plastic products including composite lumber, reusable bags, plant pots and piping.

"Walmart is fully committed to reducing waste in the communities we serve and is thrilled to support Recycling Council of Ontario's initiative," said Christine BomeĢ, 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."

To see how you can get involved in the challenge, click here.

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