This is absolute genius. In a bid to cut down on single-use plastic a Canadian shop has embellished its plastic bags with embarrassing slogans, in the hope that people will be too ashamed to use them.
Customers who don't bring their own bags in the East West Market in Vancouver will receive plastic bags with slogans like 'The Colon Care co-op’, ‘Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium,’ and ‘Dr. Toews’ Wart Ointment Wholesale’.
Speaking to The Guardian, the shop's owner, David Lee Kwen insisted that the plan wasn't to embarrass customers.
We wanted to give them something humorous, but also something that made them think at the same time,” he told the Guardian. “It’s human nature not to want to be told what to do.
Kwen hoped that the fee on plastic bags would discourage shoppers from using single-use plastic. However, after the charge failed to stop using people using plastic, he decided to use a different approach.
Earlier this week, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, announced plans to ban single-use plastics in 2021, including grocery bags, plastic cutlery and straws. Similarly, back in March the EU voted to ban all single-use plastics by 2021.
To put into context the issue of single-use plastic, here are a few key facts, 8m tonnes of plastic waste is dumped in the seas annually, one in three marine species have been found entangled in marine litter and if we continued at the rate we are going by 2050 oceans will carry more plastic than fish.
Hopefully, this approach will lead to consumers changing their behaviour and make more sustainable choices. At the very least it will start a conversation.