A Vancouver grocery store is hoping embarrassing slogans is enough to encourage customers to bring their own bags.
If you ask for a plastic bag at independent grocer East West Market, you might end up carrying your groceries home in one emblazoned with “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium.”
Or perhaps you’d think twice about a plastic bag with “Dr. Toews Wart Ointment Wholesale” or “Colon Care Co-Op.”
“We redesigned our bags to stop people from taking them,” explains a video posted to the store’s social media.
East West charges five cents per plastic bag.
The designs are bright and attention-grabbing — not nearly as classy as that New Yorker tote bag you always forget to bring to the grocery store. The owners of East West hope the silly slogans will not only discourage people from taking plastic bags, they will start a conversation around single-use plastics.
In addition to its embarrassing slogan, each bag encourages customers to “avoid the shame” and “bring a reusable bag.”
According to Greenpeace Canada, Canadians generate about 3.25 million tonnes of plastic waste, or about 140,000 garbage trucks’ worth, each year.
The campaign follows similar funny and eco-conscious efforts around the world. When Western Australia banned single-use plastic bags in 2018, the government issued a light-hearted video encouraging customers in a post-bag world to define what type of shopper they are — a “bagger,” a “boxer” or a “juggler.”
Many business and municipalities across Canada are actively phasing out single-use plastics. Furniture giant IKEA has promised to do so by 2020, while A&W has already stopped giving out plastic straws — and used the last of them to make a pretty sick sculpture.
The City of Victoria was one of the first municipalities to outright ban single-use plastic bags. Prince Edward Island has already raised the fee for plastic bags to 25 cents, and plans to ban them by 2020.
Last year, Vancouver announced plans to ban single-use plastic straws.