(Bangkok, May 28th, 2019) Central Retail led by Central Department Store together with Central Group’s retail businesses launch Central Love the Earth ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’. Through this campaign, it is set to become Thailand’s first plastic bag-free retailer within 2019, to improve the environment while also expressing its social responsibility in line with the government’s agenda. Customers are encouraged to say no to plastic bags and bring their own bags to earn up to 40 The 1 points. The campaign will run from June 5th onward, with an aim to reduce 150 million plastic bags within 2019.

Nicolò Galante, President of Central Retail Corporation, said, “Plastic waste is a global issue which needs to be addressed immediately. Thailand is the world’s sixth biggest contributor of ocean waste, generating almost 2 million tons of plastic waste each year, or 200 billion plastic bags*. Central Retail has announced that we will take environment conservation seriously and proactively. We have come up with Central Love the Earth ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’ campaign, which is the biggest campaign of the year, joined by Central Group’s retail businesses. This campaign is led by Central Department Store to announce the commitment to be the first plastic-bag free retailer in Thailand, starting from June 5th this year, which is World Environment Day. The campaign will cover all Central Department Stores, Zen Department Store, Robinson Department Stores, Supersports, B2S, OfficeMate, CMG stores, Power Buy, Thai Watsadu, Baan & Beyond, and Auto 1. Customers who say no to plastic bags at participating stores will receive 10 The 1 points as an appreciation for their environmental responsibility.”

“Consumer goods retail businesses like Central Food Hall, Tops Market, Tops SUPERSTORE, Tops Daily and Matsumoto Kiyoshi will also raise awareness about plastic issues by not offering plastic bags on every Tuesday after we have received positive feedback from not offering plastic bags on the 4th of every month. The number of customers who receive 8 The 1 points for saying no to plastic bags or bringing their own bags has increased steadily.”

“On June 5th, 2019, which is World Environment Day, customers who say no to plastic bags and spend 800 baht will receive a free fabric bag worth 19 baht. Additionally, we have prepared “Green Checkout” cashiers to facilitate customers who bring their own bags or say no to plastic bags at Central Food Hall, Tops Market, and Tops SUPERSTORE.”

Nicolò Galante added, “FamilyMart will also join the campaign by encouraging customers to say no to plastic bags every day. Plastic bags will not be offered on the 4th of each month, and three FamilyMart stores have completely stopped offering plastic bags. They include Mahidol University, Department of Hygiene and Central Chaengwattana Level 21 branches. Within the end of 2019, we expect to increase the number of no plastic bag branches to 10 stores.”

Natira Boonsri, President of Central Department Store, said that Central Department Store has actively encouraged customers to reduce the use of plastic bags for 11 years now through Central Love the Earth project which has saved 95 million plastic bags altogether.

“This year, Central Department Store and Zen are delighted to join forces with other businesses in our group to take our environmental commitment to another level through Central Love the Earth ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’ campaign. We will become the first plastic bag-free retailer in Thailand to raise awareness about plastic waste and save the environment. Additionally, our campaign is supported by Atis Ruchirawat, Managing Director of General Card Services, service provider of Central The 1 credit card, in doubling The 1 points to 40 points in total.”

“Additionally, Central Department Stores and Zen have also introduced new designs of foldable fabric bags to help our customers carry their own bags more conveniently. We also offer tote bags in various sizes, suitable for different purposes. They feature cool designs for everyone. They will be available at all Central Department Stores and Zen from July onward at 35 and 50 baht,” Natira Boonsri said.

At the press conference of Central Love the Earth ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’, Green Champion awards were presented to customers of Central Department Stores and Tops, as well as Central Group employees who have actively said no to plastic bags. Phatcharisa Phatcharinkul, one of the Green Champions, talked about her commitment to reducing the use of plastic bags. “It began from an idea that everyone can make this world a better place, and it has to start from us. Reducing plastic waste is a personal matter and it is easy to do. You just have to bring a bag with you when you go shopping. This can significantly reduce the amount of plastic bags. I always shop at Central Chidlom and Central Ladprao, and I can see that Central is serious about raising awareness about plastic bags and encouraging customers to bring their own bags. I’ve always admired this initiative and it has become a habit. I would like to encourage everyone to always bring a bag when shopping, and if you do it consistently, it will become a habit. It is a simple thing that can help reduce the amount of plastic waste, and a good way of showing that you care about the environment. We can make this world a better place.”

Nicolò Galante added, 'Central Love the Earth ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’ is a first and significant step in driving and raising awareness about the environment in the Thai society. We would like to thank our customers and employees for their cooperation and support. We hope that this campaign will drive a big change in Thailand’s retail business and Thai society and encourage other industries to care more about the environment and see the importance to tackling plastic waste. We are confident that by reducing the use of plastic bags and taking our environment commitment seriously, it all has to start from ourselves and those around us, including our employees and customers, before reaching out to our communities, society, and country. When everyone has environmental responsibility, we will see nature restoring its balance, and our dream of living a good life is not far from reach.”

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