Massy Stores chats with students on Single Use Plastic Reduction
With the many growing concerns about the over-use of single use plastic and its impact on the environment, the grade six students at the Gros Islet Primary School are studying this subject and working on a project to reduce plastic waste. It’s a topic selected by the students themselves. This is part of the new outline of the Common Entrance exam, renamed the Caribbean Primary Exit Exam.
The St. Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority and Greening the Caribbean (an environmental management business that provides waste-to-landfill minimization and recycling services), were among the organizations exploring this important issue with the forty-eight students who make up the three grade six classes.
Massy Stores (SLU) was invited to engage and share with the students on the subject. The supermarket retailer was invited because of its decision in 2018 to heavily promote reusable bags to customers, as an alternative to taking plastic carrier bags. The company also charges twenty-five cents on each plastic bag used to package customer groceries. Sariah Best Joseph, Division Head of Marketing at Massy Stores told students that these two actions by Massy Stores, in addition to continued public awareness and education have helped to reduce the number of plastic bags which go into the environment and the landfill every year.
Through a very engaging and interactive presentation, students also heard about the various recycling initiatives which the company is supporting and sponsoring, including the RePlast plastic bottle collection drive and the Massy Stores Recycling trailer. Apart from the importance of reducing plastic waste and recycling, students also discussed composting as another way to manage the amount of waste sent to the landfill. After watching an advertisement produced by Massy Stores to encourage composting, the students shared their own experiences with this practice at home.
At the end of the session, each student was presented with their very own Massy Reusable bag for shopping. The students and their teachers were quite excited when challenged to come up with a school environmental project which Massy Stores could sponsor. This challenge is one of the ways the company hopes that students will continue researching alternatives to single use plastic carrier bags, and how they can reduce their own use of convenience plastics. The company hopes that this will cause students to take this knowledge forward with them as they progress through their lives.
The information provided by all the presenters will be used to create graphs, tables and charts in Science and Mathematics class, prepare essays for their English classes and design posters and flyers to sensitize their community on the subject.