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Environment

This Grocery Store Made Embarrassing Plastic Bags to Remind Customers to Bring Their Own


Why Global Citizens Should Care
There are 15 billion plastic bags that get used every year and less than 10% of plastic gets recycled in Canada. Clever initiatives like this can be used to draw attention to the growing issue of plastic waste and Global Goal 14 on life below water. Join Global Citizen and take action now.

Just like many grocery stores in Canada, East West Market charges 5 cents per plastic bag. But there’s something very unique about their bags — instead of the market’s logo, they have embarrassing slogans that might just make them uncomfortable to carry for some shoppers.

“We redesigned our bags to stop people from taking them,” the store said in a recent video on Facebook.

The bags say things like, “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium,” “Dr. Toews Wart Ointment Wholesale,” and “Colon Care Co-Op.”

The slogans are printed in large coloured fonts on the white plastic bags, so they are easy enough to read — which makes it a good shaming tactic.

East West hopes the funny bags will remind people to bring their reusable bags, but also spark a conversation about single-use plastics.

In Canada alone, 15 billion plastic bags are used every year, and nearly 57 million straws get used daily.

Businesses in the country have taken steps to minimize their contribution to plastic pollution and have used clever tactics like East West Market.

A&W, for example, no longer uses plastic straws and they announced it by creating a straw sculpture that reads “Change is good.” A number of zero-waste stores have also opened across the country.

Canada also announced Monday that it will be banning single-use plastics as early as 2021, an important step in mitigating the effects of plastic pollution on the longest coastline in the world.