The trunk of my car is full of reusable grocery bags, and yet every time I go to do groceries, I never remember to bring them in the store with me. I end up paying for plastic bags, and even though I reuse them for other things, I still wish I could remember to bring my reusable bags inside.
One store in Vancouver, Canada really wants people to stop buying plastic bags, so they came up with a hilarious way to get people to remember their canvas ones. East West Market released a video announcing their decision.
“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. Avoid the shame. Bring a reusable bag,” the video said.
The bags each have an embarrassing store name on them, so that people will hopefully remember to bring their cloth bags so they can avoid using the store’s plastic ones. Instead of having the store’s name, East West Market chose to go the humorous way.
“Colon Care Co-Op,” “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium,” and “Wart Ointment” are the fake store names plastered on the bags, and you can bet that no one wants to be walking around with that in their hands!
“So many people own reusable bags but forget to bring them,” East West Market owner David Lee Kwen explained. “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. “This is a small step, but we hope it eventually can have a great impact. And we all do it with fun.”
Some people were critical of the store shaming people for using plastic bags, since the store itself isn’t totally plastic-free. Kwen noted that if they didn’t sell anything was in plastic packaging, they wouldn’t have anything to sell at all.
“Of course there’s plastic everywhere,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is tackle one problem at a time.”
Others were upset about the stunt saying that shaming your customers isn’t the way to go.
“What a stupid stunt!” Rob McNick wrote. “I would never shop where the goal is to embarrass the customer. Why spend your $ at east west market. There’s plenty of other choices I would choose one that appreciates my business.”
“Humiliation is not ok though,” Tammy-Lynn Post wrote. “Humiliating someone because they might have simply forgotten their clothe bags at home.. humiliation towards the mentally challenged that don’t always understand everything fully to the capabilities of others. Humiliation towards children that stopped in to buy some snacks or whatever with their piggy bank money because they didn’t bring a bag and their little arms can’t carry everything individually. While it can be funny to some I do not like this idea at all!”
Personally, I think this is an amazing idea. If you don’t want to walk around with an embarrassing bag, then don’t carry one!