This is the last CSR Newsletter of the Fall semester.
Have a great winter break and I will see you in 2020!
The article in the url below reports a Canadian shopkeeper's innovative approach to discouraging plastic bag use by his customers:
"If concern over the climate crisis or revulsion over the contamination of the food chain are not enough to change consumer behaviour, one grocery store is hoping that another emotion may persuade people to shun single-use plastic bags: shame."
After noticing that a new charge of 5 cents for the bags was not dissuading his customers from taking them, he thought a more direct approach would be more effective:
"Customers who don't bring their own bags to the East West Market in Vancouver will instead have to carry their grocery home in bags reading 'Wart Ointment Wholesale' or 'Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium.' … The bags are meant to force customers to think twice about consumption habits."
The trouble is that the bags have now become popular in their own right:
"[David Lee Kwen, the shop's owner] admits there may have been an unintended consequence to the bags: 'Some of the customers want to collect them because they love the idea of it,' he said. But he still believes the plan is working. 'Even if you have the bag, you have to explain its origin to your friends. And then, we've started a conversation.'"
As a result, he will transfer the designs to canvas bags:
"The bags, which Kwen has run in limited numbers of 1,000, cost customers five cents. It costs extra for him to print the newly designed bags so he's hopeful customers instead opt to bring in their own. In the meantime, he plans to transfer the images on the plastic bags to canvas bags. 'It's a double-edged sword. We wanted to address an issue, but we've also made something popular, so it's turned out great.'"
A graphic showing the designs appeared in a NYT article about the same story:
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Grocery store urges customers to rethink plastic with embarrassing bags
By Leyland Cecco
June 11, 2019