As people around the world become more environmentally aware, many of us have turned to reusable grocery bags rather than the plastic one-use bags that have long been a staple in retail. In fact, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in early June that Canada would ban single-use plastics as early as 2021.
One grocery store tried an unconventional tactic to get its customers to ditch plastic bags.
At East West Market in Vancouver, British Columbia, customers who didn’t bring in their own bags were surprised to see the bags that the store started providing them. These bags were printed with a variety of humorous messages intended to shame customers into bringing reusable bags. Some of the messages included “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium,” “The Colon Care Co-Op,” and “Wart Ointment Wholesale.”
The store announced the bags in an Instagram post which read “It’s hard to always remember a reusable bag. We redesigned our plastic bags to help you never forget again!”
But to store owner David Kwen’s surprise, the plan backfired. His customers loved the sassy new designs. They even started paying for the bags (5 cents each).
Kwen shrewdly used all the attention to further his cause to eliminate one-use plastic bags. Soon, the store will start selling canvas totes with the same silly designs.