Cottagers and campers in Manitoba want to get greener — at least according to the demand for recycling bags at a giveaway in the Whiteshell region Saturday.
People were lined up 30-40 deep at times to get their hands on complimentary reusable and foldable blue bin bags for pop bottles or other drink containers to take back to their campsites or cottages, said Ken Friesen, the executive director of the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association.
The blue bag giveaway in Falcon Lake was part of the organization's Recycle Everywhere initiative — and recycle everywhere is something Manitobans clearly hope to be able to do, Friesen said.
"The attitude of Manitobans towards recycling has really changed," Friesen said, pointing to the lineup for the bags as evidence. "Five or six years ago, we wouldn't have had that kind of response."
The giveaway comes after a pilot project last year showed many Whiteshell cottagers didn't have a convenient way to recycle drink containers.
Bears bust blue bin
And that could, at times, cause problems.
Friesen said one person he spoke to Saturday told him a story of using a regular plastic blue bin outside for recyclables that saw uninvited guests drop in to check out a discarded chocolate-milk container.
"The bears came and destroyed the blue box trying to get at what smelled good," Friesen said.
He estimated that by the end of summer, 98 per cent of Whiteshell cottagers would have a bin bag, which are also being handed out by cottage associations.
Since April, the beverage recycling association has distributed more than 16,000 of the bags across the province. The goal is to get them used in 95 to 98 per cent of all cottages.
Friesen estimated there are between 25,000 and 30,000 cottages and seasonal campsites in Manitoba.
The blue bag distribution comes on top of more than 170,000 clear recycling bags that have been provided free to public and private provincial campgrounds.
The not-for-profit recycling association has a government-mandated target to recover 75 per cent of beverage containers sold in Manitoba for recycling.