Even though plastic bags are bad news for the planet, we may accept them at stores when we’re in a hurry or forget our reusable ones. But, if you happen to be in the East West Market in Vancouver, British Columbia, you might think twice…

The Canadian supermarket came up with an amusing (and some might say devious) strategy to encourage their customers to avoid using the store’s “single-use” bags.

Rather than featuring their store logo on the front of their disposable bags, they have imprinted 1,000 of them with embarrassing slogans.

Some of them were emblazoned with “Colon Care Co-op”; others featured a fake logo for an “Adult Video Emporium”; and some were labeled “Wart Ointment”.

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The supermarket’s owner, David Lee Kwen wanted to use reverse psychology because it’s only human nature for people not to like being being told what to do. (Maybe a little playful jab will help them make up their own mind.)

He said he hoped the gag bags would, at the very least, be a conversation starter. “We wanted to give them something humorous, but also something that made them think at the same time,” Kwen told The Guardian..

For most of Kwen’s customers, the bags had their intended effect.

“I’d probably carry [my groceries] in my arms before I took one of those bags,” one customer told Global News reporters.

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Another quoted Kwen’s new slogan, “Avoid the shame. Bring a reusable bag!” (continue reading below...)

Kwen said, “The message behind this is that we all need to make a conscious effort to save the planet, one step at a time. No matter how small, everybody should start somewhere.”

Although Kwen’s creative approach to decreasing the use of plastic bags, instead of legislating behavior, has led to an increase in people wanting the cheeky bags, he has quickly transitioned to printing the slogans on reusable bags.

So, yes, Mr. Kwen, your bags have started many a conversation.

(WATCH the news coverage below) – Photos by East West Market

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