PHUKET: Tesco Lotus has reaffirmed its commitment to preserving the environment with its new “no bag store” concept for Express format outlets, having recently launched two pilot stores – in Koh Samui and Phuket.
Tesco Lotus Head of Public Affairs Charkrit Direkwattanachai remarked: “Tesco Lotus has been able to save the use of eight million plastic bags and this year we aim to reduce [the use of] 12 million plastic bags through our long standing scheme to reward customers with 'Green Points' every time they turn down a plastic bag."
“Now we are launching Tesco Lotus’s first 'no bag stores' in Phuket and Samui as a trial to further demonstrate our commitment to Phuket’s world-famous natural environment," he added.
The "no bag" store in Phuket is a Lotus Express on Ban Sai Yuan Road – the road between Nai Harn and Kata beaches – a prime tourist area. To encourage customers to join the spirit of the “no bag” concept, the company is offering 20 Green Points for a basket of shopping without using plastic bags. The Green Points system works through Clubcard, the Tesco Lotus loyalty card. Clubcard points are converted to cash coupons and mailed to customers every quarter. At the Ban Sai Yuan store, an additional 20 satang per “no bag” transaction will be donated to the local Wat Sawang Arom school.
Mr Chakrit said that feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive, and the trial looks set to continue and be rolled out to other stores in prime tourist areas to help protect the local environment.
“As Thailand’s leading 'green retailer', we want to convince customers to shop without plastic bags. Hence we are piloting the 'no bag' stores' in Koh Samui and Phuket,” he said.
Alongside the plastic bag campaign, Tesco Lotus is also the first retailer to reward customers who buy "green products" such as energy saving light bulbs and biodegradable disposable utensils, giving 25 Green Points for every product sold.
Tesco Lotus also has an ongoing energy conservation and carbon reduction program, which included investing 1.2 billion baht in energy saving light bulbs and electrical equipment in 2012.
In addition, Tesco Lotus has opened a “zero carbon store” in Bangpra, Chonburi – the first of its kind in Asia – which offsets 100 per cent of its carbon emissions with alternative energy sources such as solar and wind.
Tesco Lotus also has various environment conservation projects aimed at helping communities throughout Thailand. For example, a recently completed project which saw nine million trees planted in national parks around the country.