Canada is doing their best to cut down on plastic waste.
One grocery store, East West Market, has decided to do their bit to help this project along in an unconventionally genius way.
Since last September the store has charged for each plastic bag its customers use, reports VICE.
This wasn’t enough of a deterrent so they’re taking it a step further.
Their secret weapon? Shame.
East West is implying that its shoppers are into some freaky stuff.
Vancouver Is Awesome reports that the Market recently switched from the standard version to customized plastic bags that have been designed to playfully shame whoever’s carrying them.
The bags come in three different versions, which each have been printed with one of three logos: The Colon Care Co-Op, Dr. Toew’s Wart Ointment Wholesale, or Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium.
Check it out:
The idea was to encourage customers to think about plastic use by giving them an incentive never to forget their reusable bags at home again.
Kwen said that the custom-printed bags cost more than a standard plastic bag, so they’re being used as a “limited run” in order to start a conversation about single-use plastics.
“Yes, some customers decide not to take them,” [East West Market owner] David Kwen said. “And if they have taken them, we’ve been able to chat about why we’re doing this, and why it’s important. Some want to collect them, because they love the idea, and they like the designs.” (Yes, the market does sell reusable bags, and Kwen says that these designs may eventually end up on reusable totes, too.)
Social media is divided between those who love the idea and those who hate it.
Some people have asked whether trying to “embarrass” customers is the best option, while others wonder why East West Market would invest in new plastic bags in an attempt to cut down on plastic bag use.
“A totally counterproductive [sic] and a stupid stunt to get people into the store,” one Facebook commenter wrote, adding an eye-rolling emoji to show that she means fuckin’ business. Still others have criticized the decision to use “The Colon Co-Op” as a joke, especially considering how prevalent—and how already stigmatized—colon cancer is.
You can please some people some of the time, but not all people all of the time – especially on social media.
Personally, I’d happily carry the ‘Weird Adult Video Emporium’ bag around.
It’d be a great conversation starter.
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