Supermarket 'Shames' Customers Who Don't Bring Reusable Bags by Offering Embarrassing Plastic Ones squib

A Canadian grocery store has come up with a unique plan to help its customers reduce their eco-footprint.

With single-use plastic bags being a known contributor to environmental problems, the East West Market — an independent supermarket offering organic, fair-trade produce located in Vancouver, British Columbia — has long been pushing its patrons to use reusable bags, even charging 5 cents per plastic bag as part of their #JoinTheEarthMovement.

But now, they’re taking their efforts to the next level. As of June 6, the market has redesigned its plastic bags, printing them instead with embarrassing logos on both sides.

Logos include “Colon Care Co-Op,” “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium,” and ads for “Wart Ointment.”

Each were created in an effort to playfully shame shoppers into bringing cloth bags.

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“Over 1 million plastic bags are used every minute, most of which are filled once, then discarded. So, we redesigned our bags to stop people from taking them, helping customers remember a reusable bag and thing twice about single-use plastic,” the store wrote in a Facebook video for the new bags.

“Avoid the shame. Bring a reusable bag,” they said.

Whether the initiative works remains to be seen. Customers appear split in the comments section on East West’s Facebook page, with some praising the store and others questioning its use of plastic bags in other areas of the store, such as the produce and bakery sections.

Regardless, East West’s owner David Lee Kwen remains hopeful the new bags will make a difference. As he explained to VancouverIsAwesome.com, “So many people own reusable bags but forget to bring them. We want to help customers remember their reusable bags in a way that will really stick with them.”

We hope that by creating discussions, we can minimize the usage of plastics in general,” he added in a statement obtained by Fox-10. “This is a small step, but we hope it eventually can have a great impact. And we all do it with fun.”

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