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Project by C.C. Loughlin students in Corner Brook gathering thousands of plastic bags

Ewan Jenkins, front, and his Grade 3 classmates, from left, Keira Parrill, Rhys Cormier and Izabelle Jones sit amongst a fraction of the plastic shopping bags collected by C.C. Loughlin Elementary as part of the Plastic Bag Grab Challenge they’ve taken on during the month of May.
Ewan Jenkins, front, and his Grade 3 classmates, from left, Keira Parrill, Rhys Cormier and Izabelle Jones sit amongst a fraction of the plastic shopping bags collected by C.C. Loughlin Elementary as part of the Plastic Bag Grab Challenge they’ve taken on during the month of May.

It’s not even halfway through the month and the students of C.C. Loughlin Elementary School have already obliterated the number of plastic shopping bags they collected a year ago.

This is the second year the Corner Brook school has accepted the Plastic Bag Grab Challenge to collect as many plastic bags as they can so they can be recycled into products and not end up as litter or in a landfill.

Last year’s effort was directed mostly by teachers and yielded in excess of 15,000 bags. This year, the students and their families were engaged more and the school had collected more than 32,000 bags entering Friday.

They will keep bringing them in until the end of the month.

Izabelle Jones isn’t sure how many bags she has brought in herself, but it was enough to fill two garbage bags and nine shopping bags. Her class has counted more than 8,000 bags and are well on their way to their goal of 10,000.

“There will be less bags around outside and there will be less animals choking on plastic,” she said of the impact a project like this can have.

“I think people should get cloth bags and reuse them and not get plastic bags at the grocery store.”

Anyone with plastic bags at home should re-use them to carry or store things, said Jones, or make crafts with them or just make sure they are recycled and not simply tossed in the garbage.

The students have an extra incentive to bring in as many bags as they can. The class that collects the most will win a pizza party.

The school as a whole stands to benefit too if it can keep the pace up. The Plastic Bag Grab Challenge is sponsored by Wal-Mart and the store presented one school with a park bench made from recycled plastic last year.

The school is hoping it can collect 50,000 bags, said principal Helen Coleman.

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