Recycle BC and Retailers Launch #BringYourBag Challenge

Campaign challenges the public to go one week without using a plastic bag!

Recycle BC is teaming up with Save-On-Foods and London Drugs to encourage the public to make the switch from single-use plastic and paper shopping bags to reusable bags. The campaign is a partnership with the Retail Council of Canada (RCC).

People can sign up for the one-week #BringYourBag challenge at RecycleBC.ca/BringYourBag, where they can enter to win a pair of Vancouver Whitecaps FC tickets. The challenge? Go one week without using a single-use bag. The public can participate by signing up at the Recycle BC website, or by engaging on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Over two million plastic bags are thrown in the garbage every week in the City of Vancouver alone. In fact, Canadians use between nine and 15 billion plastic bags every year – enough to circle the Earth more than 55 times.

“We all need to work together to reduce the use of single-use bags,” said Allen Langdon, Managing Director of Recycle BC. “By sharing a common goal, and through a combination of incentives and education, we’re encouraging positive behaviour change to keep plastic bags out of our landfills and oceans.”

“Collective effort between retail stores and consumers is necessary to reduce the number of shopping bags used, and we’re excited to support those efforts,” said Avery Bruenjes representing the Retail Council of Canada. “B.C. retailers are proud to take a leadership role to produce better environmental outcomes.”

Recycle BC and the RCC have created a #BringYourBag resource guide, which the RCC will distribute to its members. The comprehensive guide provides sample in-store signage, guidelines for setting up in-store plastic bag recycling stations, and tips for educating shoppers. The guide aims to empower front-line staff in their daily conversations with consumers.

“Just say no to single-use bags,” added Langdon. “Consumers have a choice. We’re encouraging everyone to carry a reusable bag as a matter of habit. If we all do our part, good habits like that can make a big collective impact.”

If you do end up with plastic bags, keep them out of curbside and multi-family recycling bins, where they disrupt the recycling process. Recycle them at a participating retailer or recycling depot. Visit RecycleBC.ca/depots to find a location near you.

#BRINGYOURBAG CHALLENGE TIPS

  1. Carry reusable shopping bags as a matter of habit. Small reusable bags can clip onto your keychain.
  2. Keep extra shopping bags in the car so they’re always on-hand. When you’re done shopping, put your reusable bags back in their spot so they’re ready for the next outing.
  3. Store reusable bags where you can’t miss them. Try storing them by the front door, or with your house keys.
  4. Personalize! Having a collection that you like will make you more likely to use them.
  5. Wash your shopping bags regularly, as they may come into contact with meat or dairy.

DID YOU KNOW: If worldwide dumping of plastics in the oceans continues unchecked, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean by weight than fish!

About Recycle BC

Recycle BC is a not-for-profit organization responsible for residential packaging and paper recycling throughout British Columbia, servicing over 1.8 million households. Recycle BC works in partnership with more than 160 collection and post-collection partners, including local governments, First Nations, non-profits and private companies. Recycle BC ensures materials are collected from households and depots, sorted and responsibly recycled. The program is funded by over 1,200 businesses that include retailers, manufacturers and restaurants that supply packaging and printed paper to BC residents, shifting recycling costs away from homeowners. Additional details about Recycle BC’s residential packaging and paper recycling program, including a full list of accepted materials, depot locations and member businesses are available at RecycleBC.ca.

About the Retail Council of Canada

The Retail Council of Canada is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association representing more than 45,000 store fronts of all retail formats across Canada, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants. RCC is a strong advocate for retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides its members with a full range of services and programs including education and training, benchmarking and best practices, networking, advocacy, and industry information.

Media Contact: Lyndsey Chauhan, 778-840-5156, lchauhan@recyclebc.ca