These Embarrassing Plastic Bags Encourage Customers to Bring Their Own


It’s not exactly breaking news that our consumption of plastic bags has been out of control for decades.

A trend has developed in recent years, however, where we’re seeing cities, counties, and grocery stores completely banning the use of single-use plastic bags altogether. So while there is some progress, we still have a long way to go.

One grocery store in Vancouver, British Columbia, decided to try to convince their customers NOT to use plastic bags in a very unique, and hilarious, way.

East West Market is offering customers plastic bags with fake slogans and fake businesses that no one, and I mean no one, would want to be seen with. How’s that for a deterrent? Embarrassment always works, people.


How would you like to carry a bag around town that said, “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium,” “Dr. Toews’ Wart Ointment Wholesale,” or “The Colon Care Co-op”? You’d probably never be able to look your neighbors in the eye again.

The bags have the tag line “Avoid the shame. Bring a reusable bag” printed on them as well. Customers also have to pay five cents per plastic bag at East West Market if they don’t bring their own bags.


The owner of East West Market, David Lee Kwen, said about the project, “We wanted to give them something humorous, but also something that made them think at the same time. It’s human nature not to want to be told what to do.”

One downside has been that because the bags went viral online, people are paying the five cents to collect them. Kwen said, “Some of the customers want to collect them because they love the idea of it. It’s a double-edged sword. We wanted to address an issue, but we’ve also made something popular. Our aim was to start a conversation that could go beyond people just remembering their reusable bags when they come to our market—and we’re glad that the conversation has kept growing, with anyone who’s seen or interacted with the bags.”

Hey, at least people are taking notice, right?

Just do us a favor and bring a reusable bag next time you go grocery shopping, okay?

We’ll all be better off.