While some people may scowl at the sight of a plastic bag, they usually aren't doing so because of what's written on it.
That's the not the case with the latest batch of bags being handed out at a Vancouver market on Main Street. In an attempt to discourage people from using single-use plastics, these plastic bags are printed with large embarrassing designs.
Located on Main Street and King Edward Avenue, East West Market is an independent grocery store specializing in gourmet goods and locally-sourced products. They've been serving the community since 1996, and hope to encourage customers to bring their reusable bags when they go shopping.
“So many people own reusable bags but forget to bring them,” said David Lee Kwen, East West’s owner, “We want to help customers remember their reusable bags in a way that will really stick with them.”
Currently, East West charges customers five cents per embarrassing plastic bag that they take. They plan to continue handing out the specialty bags for the foreseeable future, but note that they'd rather no one take them. Instead, they hope to start a conversation about single-use plastic bags, as well as influence shoppers to bring their own bags - whether they are shopping at East West or somewhere else.
Although many restaurants have targeted plastic straws, East West hopes people will reduce their need for all single-use plastics. Around the world, over one million plastic bags are used every minute.