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Some wart ointment with your plastic bag?

Date: 18-Jun-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Customers are likely to think twice before taking home one of these plastic bags! Image: East West Market © Liam Taylor

Customers are likely to think twice before taking home one of these plastic bags! Image: East West Market

A Canadian supermarket has come up with a creative campaign urging customers to reconsider their need for plastic bag involving one of the most powerful behaviour change emotions: shame. East West Market in Vancouver has branded its single-use plastic bags with fake branding that reads either “Wart Ointment Wholesale”, “The Colon Care Co-op” or “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium”.

The shop’s owner, David Lee Kwen, said the new bags weren’t intended to embarrass their customers, but resorted to rolling them out after an initial five-cent charge per bag failed to discourage their use. The fake branding is accompanied by the message: “Avoid the shame. Bring a reusable bag”.

“We wanted to give them something humorous, but also something that made them think at the same time,” Mr Kwen told The Guardian.

“Even if you have the bag, you have to explain its origin to your friends. And then, we’ve started a conversation.”

The tongue-in-cheek campaign comes as Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, announced plans to ban single-use plastics such as grocery bags and straws from 2021 onwards. 

Countries all over the world are beginning to take serious action on plastic pollution as more and more disturbing images and stories reach the general public. The European Union has agreed to ban single-use plastics and, closer to home, Australia’s major supermarkets have stopped providing single-use plastic bags.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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