The negative impact of the everyday use and poor disposal of plastic and Styrofoam in the Caribbean is evident. Apart from the unsightly pollution, clogged waterways and sewers, dead marine life, plastics and Styrofoam contaminate food that is harmful to our health and the environment.
As a strong brand in the Caribbean, Massy Stores were able to engage thousands of its customers in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines to support its cause in protecting the environment.
In 2018, Massy Stores launched a campaign in support of reducing plastic pollution in the Caribbean by promoting its branded reusable bags at supermarkets, not offering free single-use disposable bags to customers and encouraging customers to recycle plastics. Massy also partnered with organisations to support recycling programs such as plastic collection and banned the use of Styrofoam in its stores.
As expected, Massy experienced some resistance, particularly from customers who were used to receiving free bags. However, six months on, this radical change has translated into Massy Stores declaring the removal of 27 million bags from the environment and a 60 -90% reduction in single-use plastic across its stores . By involving its customers in its cause, Massy was able to raise public awareness and provided customers with the opportunity to feel good about bringing value to this world of ours.
This is one example of how a Caribbean brand has evolved from the traditional model of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to one where corporate citizenship and brand marketing come together to build social and brand value.
We must acknowledge that Massy Stores, as a socially and environmentally responsible brand, has made a significant social impact and other retailers are encouraged to make their contribution in protecting the environment.