Eighty percent (80%) decrease in plastic bag usage in 1 Year
8 July, 2019

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 Marks The One-year Anniversary Of Massy Stores (Slu’s) Bold Decision To Transition Customers To The Use Of Reusable Bags Through The Introduction Of A Charge On Single-use Plastic Shopping Bags. The Company Has Noted An Eighty Percent (80%) Decrease In Plastic Bag Usage At Its Supermarkets, Which Translates To 6.5 Million Plastic Bags, Which Could Have Ended Up In The Island’s Landfill And The Environment.

The Company Credits The Positive Customer Response To A Number Of Factors. These Include Massy-led Customer Education And Awareness Through Campaigns Highlighting And Reinforcing The Harmful Effects Of Single-use Plastic Shopping Bags, Close Collaboration With Various Environmental Agencies, As Well As Incentives Provided During Promotions Through Which Thirty Two (32,000) Reusable Bags Were Provided To Customers For Free To Start Instilling The Practice.

Managing Director Of Massy Stores (St. Lucia) Martin Dorville Says Massy Stores Is Focused On Looking For Ways To Help Customers And Staff Sustain The Change And Not Revert To Their Original Practices Before The Introduction Of The Plastic Charge. He Acknowledges That This Can Be Achieved Through Partnerships With National Environmental Stakeholders, Continuing To Incentivise Customers To Use Reusable Bags And Recycle Their Waste And Ensuring That Staff Become Strong Advocates For The Environmental Change.

“we Have Continued To Educate Our 1200 Team Members On Environmental Matters While Promoting Staff Environmental Volunteerism. In The Last Year We Are Immensely Proud That 111 Team Members Undertook 16 Environmental Activities, Including A Tree Planting Exercise, The Setup Of A Backyard Garden At A Preschool, And A Beach Rehabilitation And Conservation Project. This Represents A Total Of 368 Volunteer Hours Dedicated To The Environment,” Said Mr. Dorville.

The Decision To Reduce Plastic Waste Is Part Of The Company’s Broader Commitment To Find Ways Of Operating More Sustainably And Become More Environmentally Conscious. Apart From Single-use Plastic Bags, Massy Stores Slu Is Working Towards Reducing Its Carbon Footprint Through The Development Of A Strategy For Waste Generated Internally At Stores, Warehouses And Other Locations. Later This Year The Supermarket Chain Will Begin A Pilot Programme For The Collection Of Non-waxed Cardboard Boxes For Recycling. This Will Include Training Of Back Store And Warehousing Staff On Handling Waste Materials.

The Company Has Stopped Using Styrofoam Within Its Deli, Produce And Bakery Operations And Has Begun Changing Its Lighting To Leds To Reduce Energy Consumption. Further, The Company Has Installed Solar (Photovoltaic) Power Systems At Two Of Its Locations And Plans To Add Two More Locations By September 2019.

With The Implementation Of The Plastic Bag Charge Last Year, Massy Stores Indicated That Part Of The Charge Would Go Into An Environmental Fund To Support Environmental Projects, Groups And Agencies On Island. The Fund Became Operational In February 2019 And To Date Has Supported A Number Of Activities Including A Beach Rehabilitation And Conservation Project Spearheaded By The St. Lucia National Trust, Resumption Of The Jua Kali Waste Diversion Depots And A Secondary Schools Beach Education And Action Campaign Organized By The National Conservation Authority.

Massy Stores Slu Remains Committed To Using This Fund As A Force For Good In St. Lucia. In That Regard The Company Has Announced That, It Will Sign An Agreement Next Week With The St. Lucia National Conservation Trust To Manage A Sizeable Amount Of The Funds Collected From The Plastic Charge. This Will Allow The Conservation Trust To On-grant To A Wide Range Of Both Marine And Land-based Conservation And Environment Related Activities Including Alternative Sustainable Livelihoods. The Signing Of The Memorandum Of Understanding Will Take Place In The Conference Room Of Massy Stores Mega. 

Earlier This Year Massy Stores (Slu) Received International Recognition, When The Company Got Two Environmental Awards At The 2019 International Grocers Alliance (Iga) Global Rally In San Diego, California.





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