[Pres Release] On World Earth Day (April 22, 2018) Massy Stores announces its further commitment to reducing the distribution of plastic bags at all Massy Stores locations across the five countries in which it operates – Barbados, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
This forms part of the regional retailer’s approach aimed at assisting in reduction of the negative environmental effects of plastic waste within the Caribbean.
In order to mitigate the dangerous effects of plastics on the environment, research indicates that two solutions can be used – increase the manufacturing of biodegradable plastics and continuously engage in recycling. Massy Stores adopted both initiatives to reduce the negative environmental effects of plastic waste and began procuring biodegradable bags. The company also partnered with recycling companies, such as Plastikeep in Trinidad and Tobago and Jua kali in St. Lucia, focused on the collection and exportation of plastic waste.
Having made great strides with these efforts, and as the world continues to grapple with solutions to its dependency on plastics and counter major environmental effects, the supermarket chain is seeking to find a more permanent solution to reducing plastic waste and its own demand for plastic bags. Thomas Pantin, Executive Chairman, Massy’s Retail Line of Business said, “We started to take a closer look at the negative impact of plastic waste a few years ago.
As a responsible, leading retailer we are determined to play a role in the reduction of waste. Along with citizens of every Caribbean country in which we operate, we are collectively accountable for actions which impact the future of the Caribbean.”
Mr. Pantin continued, “We started this journey by procuring bags made of a biodegradable plastic, but it is imperative that we take a stand to reduce our overall consumption of plastic, which is why we introduced a campaign to help end ‘double bagging’. Our focus is now on encouraging customers to bring their reusable bags, with the intention to phase out the demand for plastic bags. International No Plastic Bag Day which is observed on July 3 will be used to activate a number of promotions across the region to support this change.”
The decision to reduce plastic waste is part of the company’s broader commitment to find ways to operate more sustainably and become more environmentally friendly. Across the region, Massy Stores has begun changing its lighting systems to LED to reduce energy consumption. In Barbados, at the Sunset Crest and Warrens locations, solar (photovoltaic) systems have already been installed. Frere Delmas, Country Manager, Massy Barbados said, “We have even started to reduce consumption of paper by utilizing paperless statements for customers who use Massy Credit Cards.”
In St. Lucia and St. Vincent, Massy Stores have already switched to ozone-friendly gas to fuel the air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Additionally, Massy Stores in St. Vincent has replaced Styrofoam packaging with biodegradable product packaging, while St. Lucia has begun the process in some aspects of its operations. In Barbados, the removal of Styrofoam packaging is at 65% implementation, and in Trinidad and Tobago, pilot programs have started with full implementation expected in the latter half of 2018.
Mr. Pantin said, “We acknowledge that we may not get the desired end-result in one day. Full implementation across all territories and across all 49 locations will take time. We can only achieve this goal through a phased approach as there are many aspects involved. We remain committed to doing our part, sharing best practices across the region, listening to our stakeholders and collaborating with our diverse, valued customers to be A Force for Good.”