Richmond teacher hopes creative tote bags can replace single-use plastics

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The top three winners will have the chance to have their final work painted on thousands of tote bags.

A Richmond artist is holding a tote bag design contest for high school students to reduce the use of single-use plastics in the city.

“I hope this event will add color to this long, dark winter,” said Liyuan Liu, who has been teaching painting to students at his Richmond art studio for more than ten years.

The theme of the competition is “Using art to express your concern for the planet” and invites students in grades 8 to 12 to use their brushes, colored pencils and other materials to unleash their creativity while educating them about Environmental Protection.

The top three winners could have their final work painted on thousands of tote bags, which will be distributed to community members, Liu said.

“Many residents are still unaware that straws and plastic bags will not be allowed in businesses in Richmond next year. So I think it is important to relaunch this message, ”she added.

The Richmond News previously reported that foam food containers, plastic straws and plastic grocery bags would be banned in Richmond as of March 27, 2022.

The ban applies to all businesses operating in Richmond and complies with similar regulations in other communities, as well as provincial and federal regulations that are in effect, according to the city.

While Lee’s students are familiar with the regulations, more awareness is needed in the wider community, according to Liu.

“The competition is not a one-time solution to the environmental problems we have, but we are happy to see more young people willing to get involved in making a difference,” Liu said.

The competition is open now and runs until January 5, 2022. Entrants can email their creations to Totebagcontest@gmail.com.

With files from Kirsten Clarke

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