As part of its new vision, GEBE is launching a reusable shopping bag campaign to demonstrate GEBE’s commitment to protecting the environment. GEBE will be distributing a total of 10,000 of these bags on St. Maarten, Saba and Statia to its customers in January 2009.

Used twice a week for a period of two years, each GEBE reusable shopping bag can replace up to 1664 plastic bags in its lifetime. The 10,000 bags that GEBE will be distributing could therefore mean a total plastic bag reduction on these islands of 16 million bags. The bag is for the conscious shopper who like GEBE takes the environment into account.  

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"We hope you will be able to use this bag every time you shop and thereby contribute to protecting our environment," stated Managing Director, William Brooks as he presented the Lt. Governor, Franklyn Richards with the first GEBE Reusable Bag. Reusable bags were also distributed to all members of the Executive and Island Councils, GEBE Supervisory Board, and GEBE Shareholders’ Foundation as well as the environmental organizations on St. Maarten.

The Lt. Governor praised GEBE for their increased environmental consciousness in the new GEBE vision and GEBE programs that aim to reduce its environmental footprint and protect the environment of St. Maarten. The Lt. Governor commended the environmental organizations on their continuous efforts to ban the use of plastic bags on the island. The Lt. Governor also hinted at programs to come that will focus on cleaner energy for St. Maarten.

"The design reflects our local approach to a global problem. We have also included the logos of the local environmental organizations to show our support for their efforts," Brooks continued, "Our slogan, "Save Some Green" continues to promote the message of energy conservation to save money while protecting the environment." GEBE launched the Save Some Green program in 2008 with the electronic billing that reduces the amount of paper, as well as energy saving and conservation tips.

Elsje Bos of the St. Maarten Heritage Foundation accepted the bag on behalf of her foundation and looks forward to working with GEBE more in the coming year. Beverly Nisbeth of the Nature Foundation applauded the initiative and hopes that it is a sign of greater things to come. Rueben Thompson, on behalf of the St. Maarten Pride and EPIC foundations, commended GEBE on its efforts to contribute to protecting the environment on St. Maarten.

The reusable shopping bag is made of recyclable PVC which makes it sturdy and easily cleaned. The large format of the bag ensures it can replace up to 8 regular plastic bags every time it is used.