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Art imitates life at Plastic Bag Store pop-up in New York

(Reuters) - The Plastic Bag Store set to open to the public on Thursday looks like a typical New York City grocery, with rows of soda drinks and cartons on its shelves. But a closer look at the boxes of sushi rolls and cereal reveals labels such as 'plastic bagacado roll,' 'Yucky Shards,' and 'Caps N' Such.'

The pop-up art installation in the heart of Times Square is meant to raise environmental awareness, coinciding with New York State's ban on all plastic carryout bags.

"There are humorous and satirical takes on everyday products that highlight the amount of waste that we're using, and the environmental problems related," said Brooklyn artist and creator of The Plastic Bag Store, Robin Frohardt.

"And so because The Plastic Bag Store feels like a regular grocery store, I think the next time you go to a grocery store, it... might make you think a little bit about what's happening to the planet and the packaging situation."

Beginning Monday, all plastic bags will be banned throughout the entire state, where, according to the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, more than 23 billion plastic bags are used each year.

The ban, aimed at preventing single-use plastic bags from clogging landfills and littering parks and waterways, was supposed to begin March 1 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

The pop-up will be open for three weeks from Wednesdays through Saturdays, when visitors can browse the art installation in small groups in hour-long intervals.

(Reporting by Roselle Chen; writing by Diane Craft; editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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