Supermarket Uses Embarrassing Plastic Bags So Customers Will Remember Their Reusable Ones

by : Julia Banim on :
Supermarket gives out embarrassing plastic bags.East West Market

We all know that we need to cut down on our use of plastic, but sometimes we need a nudge in the right direction.

One supermarket in the Canadian city of Vancouver has gone to innovative and humorous lengths to ensure their customers think long and hard about their plastic bag use.


Those who want to get a single use plastic bag from independent grocery store East West Market will have to endure some pretty embarrassing slogans, making for a red-faced dash home.

Supermarket gives out embarrassing plastic bags.East West Market

Designs bear slogans such as ‘Into The Weird Adult Video Emporium’ and ‘The Colon Care Co-op’, making sure nobody with an ounce of street cred would want to be seen strolling around with them.

East West Market hope these mortifying messages – written in large, bold lettering – can’t be missed and will encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags from home, with the overall aim of reducing plastic pollution.


As reported by Global News, owner of East West Market David Lee Kwen has explained the reasoning behind these blush-worthy bags:

The message is, we should make a conscious effort to save our planet one step at a time,

[Plastic bags] are a big problem, and every step helps.

Unlike its fellow Canadian city Victoria, Vancouver has not yet implemented a complete ban on single-use plastic bags.

East West Market’s planet-friendly plan appears to be in keeping with Vancouver’s Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy, where businesses are required to think up their own ways of clamping down on plastic bag use.

Supermarket gives out embarrassing plastic bags.East West Market

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As well as the silly slogans, East West Market is also charging an extra five cents each, meaning customers will have to cough up for the privilege of walking around town with a bag which proclaims, ‘Wart Ointment Wholesale’.

According to Global News, Kwen has admitted some customesr have been purchasing the bags as a fun novelty item to show their mates.

However, overall these wasteful wonders have helped to stimulate important conversations about single use plastic, while spreading some much needed awareness.


Kwen said:

It’s certainly generated interest in what we’re trying to put out,

Once you start a conversation, it will skyrocket from there, I think.

Supermarket gives out embarrassing plastic bags.East West Market

According to Kwen, printing these bags comes with an additional fee, meaning these are limited edition designs.


As such, the creative campaign won’t continue indefinitely, and indeed in an ideal world these measures wouldn’t be needed in the first place.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Canada, Environment, Plastic, Vancouver


Global News and 1 other
  1. Global News

    Vancouver market tries to end plastic bag use by printing embarrassing messages

  2. City of Vancouver

    Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy