Winnipeg

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Plastic Alternatives

Noelle Wood has been using the same reusable snack bag for five years.

Wood said her family of four would go through a box of 90 plastic bags in three weeks. The typical single-use plastic bag can’t be recycled in Manitoba, said Jane Roussak of Green Action Centre.

The Center for Biological Diversity says it takes over 500 years for a plastic bag to photo-degrade, meaning it becomes microplastics that continue to pollute the environment year after year.

Wood is a third-year environmental studies student at the University of Manitoba. She said she started making reusable snack bags to reduce her family’s plastic waste and turned it into a business when more people started asking for them.

“I really started to get into it more when I went into university and started to understand the horrible effects that overconsumption and our capitalist society is having on the world,” she said.
Noelle Wood taught herself to sew and has been making reusable snack bags for five years. Her business is called Woodwork Productions./BECCA MYSKIW
Wood said one of her main interests is waste reduction. She said her reusable snack bags aren’t the answer to the world’s problems, but they’re a step in the right direction.

Roussak works on single-use plastics waste reduction at the Green Action Centre. She said reusable options like water bottles, cutlery, straws and snack bags like ones Wood makes are the best way to currently be eco-friendly.

Roussak also said the three R’s of sustainability (reduce, reuse, recycle) need to be stretched further.

“Now we’re considering rethink, so consideration of course,” she said. “And refuse, which is simply saying no.”

Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd9s6PZJ-Vg
Noelle Wood makes reusable snack bags to combat plastic waste. Green Action Centre's Jane Roussak has more ways to be eco-friendly in Manitoba. Becca Myskiw has your story.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meT46SLOcrU
The Green Action Centre and Compost Winnipeg are stepping in to fill a gap left by the city.
Winnipeg is the only major Canadian city without a compost program. Watch to learn more.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lh8FuHsadE
Rachel Young talked to ReGen Composites about how they reuse plastic bags and other materials to make something new like bus benches
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPchCULj468
Nicole Buffie took apart a single-use coffee cup to see how hard it is to make it recyclable. See if she could do it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HncjdTZqYCM
Only nine per cent of plastic is actually recycled after going in the blue bin. Becca Myskiw has more.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__OEyuK7m0U&t=6s
Sobeys is getting rid of plastic bags by the end of January. Nicole Buffie brings you the sounds of shopping.