Jan 302015
Kenny Lowe, Store Director for the Big Pine Key Winn-Dixie with Ashlee Fisher and Michele White, two of the volunteers at bag giveaway station outside Winn Dixie.

Kenny Lowe, Store Director for the Big Pine Key Winn-Dixie with Ashlee Fisher and Michele White, two of the volunteers at bag giveaway station outside the store.

Special Event Benefits Shoppers And Helps Reduce The Impact Of Single Use Plastic Bags On The Florida Keys Environment

Winn-Dixie will again partner with nonprofit Green Living and Energy Education’s “Got Your Bags? Florida Keys” program and host a reusable bag giveaway and sale event on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 10a – 2p at the store on Big Pine Key.

GLEE volunteers will provide free reusable shopping bags to shoppers at a station set up just outside the store. The reusable bags have been donated by local businesses and individuals who support the program. Volunteers will also sell BOGO (buy one get one free) Winn-Dixie bags inside the store for shoppers who want to stock up. The “price” to the shopper is simply a promise to use them instead of taking plastic bags from stores when they shop.

“We are thrilled to be the first large grocery chain in the Keys to support this initiative, and for the opportunity to partner with the Got Your Bags campaign to bring Winn-Dixie’s sustainability efforts to life,” said Big Pine Key Winn-Dixie Store Director, Kenny Lowe. “Each person’s efforts to reduce single use plastic bag makes a difference – by eliminating litter on streets, highways and shorelines, and more importantly, the harm to the wild birds and marine animals from ingestion and entanglement,” added GLEE Board member, Shirley Gun.

Lowe, and the store’s Area Service Manager, Dan Jensen, will again be on hand to support the effort. With corporate support, they have again arranged for a supply of store brand reusable bags to be available at the BOGO special savings – two reusable bags for a dollar. They will also provide a number of insulated shopping bags at a discounted price. Store employees have received special training to ask shoppers if they brought their reusable bags, in order to help reduce the use of plastic bags.

At a similar event in December, GLEE gave away almost 400 reusable shopping bags and received cash donations for 50 more (funds are used to acquire more reusable bags to give away). In-store volunteers distributed approximately 350 of the Winn Dixie BOGO bags. The numbers demonstrate the concern of local shoppers to cut back on plastic bag use, and how they value protecting the fragile Keys environment. One of those volunteers was Kate DeLoach, District Senior Executive Secretary for Florida Representative Holly Raschein, who participated to demonstrate support from that office for this effort.

The GYB program, operated as part of GLEE’s nonprofit pro-environmental mission, started as a local citizen’s initiative in Big Pine Key in 2012, involving with numerous small retailers. Winn-Dixie is the first major chain to adopt the program, which is expanding throughout the Keys.

It has been adopted in Islamorada with the assistance of Monroe County Extension Service director, Alicia Betancourt. For the past two years, the Key West Film Festival has participated as a GYB sponsor, providing reusable bags for festival participants and incorporating numerous other green initiatives. In September, Help Yourself, the independent natural and organic market and restaurant became the first Key West retailer to promote the use of reusable shopping bags. A GYB project is also in the works in Key Largo.

For more information on the GYB program, check out GLEE’s website at http://www.keysglee.com/gyb/


Follow the “Got Your Bags? Florida Keys” campaign online at https://www.facebook.com/GotYourBagsFloridaKeys .

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 January 30, 2015  Posted by at 12:15 am Issue #99, Special Events  Add comments

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