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.”

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