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Elementary students invite area residents to bag up

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There is no denying it — fall has arrived.


As you dig out warm blankets and clothes from closets, dry-clean coats, buy seasonal styles, Halloween treats and holiday décor, chances are you’ll end up with a bunch of bags. Even those of us who tote re-usable bags will find a plethora of plastic in our homes. Students at École Robert Browning challenge you to Bag Up and bring ‘em to Browning!


Bag Up Manitoba is an annual initiative operated by Take Pride Winnipeg! Inc. in co-operation with Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba.  It invites elementary schools to help divert plastic bags from our landfills. Browning students have been doing their part ever since the program began in 2008, inviting school families and neighbours to clean and collect plastic bags from their homes. For its participation, Robert Browning will receive birdhouses made from recycled plastic bags. The top 14 schools will be rewarded with a ‘plastic bag’ park bench.  


Grade 4 teacher Pierre Bohémier champions Bag Up at Robert Browning each year for the many benefits the program offers his students: they develop teamwork and motivation skills; learn practical application of mathematics (each and every bag must be counted, a few thousand so far this year); and learn to actively reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink.


The students don’t require much convincing. They love doing it, Bohémier says.


Principal Michelle Clarke says Bag Up complements the theme of sustainability fostered by the St. James Assiniboia School Division.


"We teach our children to be aware of the economy, society and the environment.  Bag Up is more than just collecting plastic bags at École Robert Browning; our students engage in an activity that is helpful in their homes, at their school, in their community and on their planet. The impact stretches well beyond our school border!"


Bag Up accepts all of the following: grocery bags, bread bags, produce bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ice bags, re-sealable freezer bags, bubble wrap, cereal bags, case overwrap, even those plastic leaf bags you can’t use anymore.


Turn used bags inside out to ensure they are clean and empty (they are stored at the school), and drop in at the school office weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. until Oct. 26.


What do you do with bags when Bag Up is over? Bohémier suggests saving them for next year.


For more information on the Bag Up program, visit www.takepride.mb.ca and follow the links.


Sharon Pfeifer is a community correspondent for Westwood. You can contact her at sdrinteractive@shaw.ca.

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