Plastic bags: Shop assistant ‘grabbed by throat’ as Australia ban starts
Heated rage in Australia over the weekend as retailers enacted a single-use plastic bags.
A customer was reported to have manhandled a shop assistant in the throat and another was yelled at another staff saying “money-grabbing scum”.
“More than 60 countries including the UK have now introduced bans or levies on single-use bags,” according to the UN.
Australian chain Woolworths placed a ban on the bags on 20 June, having offered reusable bags for 15 cents (£0.08; $0.11) instead.
“They just want a little extra help from us to get through the transition,” said Claire Peters, Woolworths managing director, in a statement.
Another chain, Coles, said it would open every checkout lane on Sunday to reduce queue lengths and put on extra staff to explain the change to customers.
“We are taking a proactive step,” a Coles spokesperson said.
A retail staff union urged customers to treat staff members with respect.
“While we understand that some customers may be frustrated by this change, there is absolutely no excuse for abusive or violent behaviour towards retail staff,” said Gerard Dwyer, national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association.
Statistics says that more than 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans each year. This terrible oceanic pollution has made the UN call for single-use bags to be eliminated completely by 2022.