Public Shaming For Those Using Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags

June 17, 2019

ID 133623915 © Chernetskaya |

Last week we shared with you a story on the amount of plastics we consume daily without even knowing it (and it's a lot). It's no surprise that many communities and governments are looking to reduce our use of plastic items; particularly single-use plastic items such as food containers, bags, straws and utensils. While the average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year, only 1% of these bags are returned for recycling with most ending up in landfills, where it take upwards of 500 years to decompose or they end up in our waterways and oceans where animals mistake them for food. While more than 40 countries have banned or restricted the use of plastic bags as part of the fight to reduce plastic pollution, they are still readily available.  The good news is more shoppers are using reusable shopping bags but not everyone is on board.  A Canadian grocery store thinks they have a way to shame single-use bag users into bringing their own. Vancouver’s East West Market has begun to print embarrassing messages on their bags, such as Dr. Toes’ Wart Ointment Wholesale,” “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium” or “The Colon Care Co-op.” Shoppers who chose to use a plastic carrier would not only be charged 5 cents apiece, they're walking out onto the street with the cringeworthy messages for all the world to see. In smaller print, the bags revealed the true purpose of the campaign: “Avoid the shame. Bring a reusable bag.” Owner David Lee Kwen insists that the idea wasn't actually to embarrass customers, but to make them stop and think about their actions and how they relate to the environment. However the public shaming campaign may actually be backfiring as people from all over the world have been purposely buying the bags as novelty and collector items. However the store will be satisfying the public willingness to be publically shamed by imprinting similar message on reusable bags. Canada is the latest country to implement legislation to ban many plastics, including single-use bags, by 2021. California, New York and Hawaii have current bans on single use bags. Locally Gainesville will enact a single use plastic bag and plastic take home food containers ban starting next year. Florida has no active plans to ban bags throughout the state.

It’s hard to always remember a reusable bag. We redesigned our plastic bags to help you never forget again! || Check out our feature on Global News! Link in bio. #jointheearthmovement #EASTWESTMARKET

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SOURCE: Daily Mail & New York Times

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