Sustainability

Grocery Store Shames Customers Out of Using Plastic Bags

This grocery store aims to reduce plastic waste by giving these embarrassing bags to customers.

David Lee Kwen, the owner of East West market in Vancouver tried charging five cents for single-use plastic bags. When that approach didn’t work, he came up with these plastic bags.   

“We wanted to give them something humorous, but also something that made them think at the same time,” he said. “It’s human nature not to want to be told what to do.”

Kwen only made approximately 1,000 of the bags, which cost five cents a piece. He says customers like the bags so much that they’re collecting them, and he thinks their popularity could actually support his plan.

“Even if you have the bag, you have to explain its origin to your friends. And then we’ve started a conversation,” he said.
The Canadian government estimates that less than 11% of plastic is recycled in Canada.

On June 10, 2019 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021. The ban would include bags, water bottles, and straws.