business

Australian supermarket staff suffer abuse after single-use plastic bag ban

23 Comments
By Peter PARKS

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© 2018 AFP

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23 Comments
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I have never thrown a plastic bag into the sea. I would guess that not one of my friends has either. Would anyone here like to admit to purposely throwing a plastic bag into the sea?

...........Nope!

Didn't think so.

So these bags are getting into the sea (if indeed they are) by our local councils who despite lecturing us on how to properly dispose of said items....and fining those who fail to...are failing to properly recycle the garbage that we pay them to do so?

Hmm...sounds like this is just another money grab disguised as being "eco friendly"

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

One would assume that it's not normal in Australia (or anywhere!) that people carry spare plastic bags that have contained vomit or rat faeces. Never assume I guess!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

send all of the offenders to japan. they'd love it here. supermarkets, convenience stores and department stores lavish plastic products on their customers. what's that you say? you got a bunch of plastic cutlery, straws and an extra shopping bag that you didn't want? don't return them to the staff. take them down to the post office and ship them to australia where the populace are in dire need of their disposable plastics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“In some cases, customers have attempted to use bags which contained vomit, dirty nappies or rat faeces. This is obviously unacceptable and presents a serious health risk to retail staff," he said.

How do they know their rat crap from wombat?

I don’t....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Once people get used to it it will be fine. Irish people got used to this year's ago. I'm surprised the Australians hadn't banned it already. Japan is disgraceful on this respect. But as long as your products look cute or stylish who cares about the damage being done long term

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Irony is one major supermarket in Aus, Aldi, has been charging people for bags for years.

The report is a sad indictment on human nature.

The discount of 2 yen on no bag in various Japanese su-pa-s is not so bad in comparison.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

People need to get used to it, and that's all there is to it. Perhaps the shops could, though, have a one week campaign, announced loud and wide, giving each customer the bags for free for the week, but urging them to reuse, and clearly stating that after the week is up there will be a 15 charge for the bags, which are still not single-use. Beyond that, none of this abuse should be tolerated, especially physical assault. The man who put his hands around the girl's throat should be jailed, and also pay a fine.... let's say, the cost of one-million double-use bags. See if it was worth it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

At my local supermarket they instituted a plastic bag charge of like 5 yen a bag or something, I think by the end of the month the decision was reversed and bags were free again. I wonder if some of the staff here were treated like the Australians in this article.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In some cases, customers have attempted to use bags which contained vomit, dirty nappies or rat faeces.

These would be exactly the type of people the ban is aimed at: those who carelessly allow their garbage to flow to the sea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The UK has a 5 pence charge for these onetime bags, ive got a few super strength bags that i use time and time again, also they are very strong and easier to carry unlike these light weight bags as they cut your fingers to ribbons, here in the UK land fill is running out fast, so we have had to alter our attitude towards recycling in general, these one time bags will break down in years to come, one of the large supermarkets chains last week, announced that it was going back to brown paper bags for certain products, I hope that the plastic milk cartons go next, and we go back to glass as that can be reused time and time again, and when it breaks, it can be melted down and reused again. as for the abuse to staff, well the customers are bang out of order! its not the staffs fault, we need to alter our attitude towards the disposable society that we live in.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is weird to me. I've had a recycled plastic-cloth bag for years

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Plastic bag ban has nothing to do with the environment like the management of these companies claim it's all about the bottom line. If it was why haven't these companies banned plastic garbage bags or lunch bags, because they sell and make profits out of them while they give away shopping bags.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

"In some cases, customers have attempted to use bags which contained vomit, dirty nappies or rat faeces. This is obviously unacceptable and presents a serious health risk to retail staff," he said.

Unbelievable.  although sure it might have a salutary effect on the users of such bags

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These bans are bags full of unintended consequences.

Bans really aren't a solution to this problem. Like it or not, if you want for people to stop using plastic bags, you need to give them an alternative that is just as good and convenient, or people are just never going to accept the change.

At my local supermarket they instituted a plastic bag charge of like 5 yen a bag or something, I think by the end of the month the decision was reversed and bags were free again. I wonder if some of the staff here were treated like the Australians in this article.

I also had a similar experience. People just went to their competitors across the street after they started to charge for the bags.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@maybeperhapsyes - Hmm...sounds like this is just another money grab disguised as being "eco friendly"

@Andrew Crisp - Plastic bag ban has nothing to do with the environment like the management of these companies claim it's all about the bottom line.

These two people seriously have no idea what-so-ever! The profits from reusable bags sold at Woolworths are being donated to charity. The other supermarket chains are following suit. So, that puts your 'bottomline' theory down the sink.

Most of Australia's garbage is disposed of in land fill. These plastic bags stay in the environment for upwards of a hundred years. People have been pushing for banning single use plastic bags for decades. It's a shame it has taken so long for it to happen.

I read something funny on social media. Some old Aussie fella, who is obviously not not the sharpest tool in the shed, was complaining about having to buy a new shopping bag every time he came to the supermarket.

Next is plastic straws and single use PET bottles. Japan is atrocious for over-use of plastics. You buy a bag of cookies or candy and every one of them is individually wrapped. The majority of PET plastics are recycles, but many are not. I spend a lot of time at the beach in Chiba and the beaches resemble garbage dumps throughout the summer.

The oceans are in dire trouble from being polluted by plastics. There are five large plastic gyres in the world's oceans. The biggest is in the northern Pacific. It is nearly twice the size of Texas. Researchers have examined the plastics and discovered the vast majority originates in Asia and it's not just from the developing countries. Japan, China and Korea are responsible for a lot of this plastic rubbish too. Many 'modern' countries are taking positive steps to wipe out the plastics scourge, but it must be a global effort. The modern countries must create initiatives for developing countries to stop them filling the oceans with plastic. Japan must also stop using so much single use plastic.

By the way, I've been using recycled plastic shopping bags or clothe bags at the supermarket for getting on twenty years. There a re probably five plastic shopping bags in my house.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Just another day in the Lucky country

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We desperately need to get rid of one-time plastic products. People will get used to it. Just like when seatbelts were introduced or smoking was made unhealthy, users got angry in the short term, but after some time they realize it’s good and get used to it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don’t think I gotta do much actually.

In other situations the seller is the person of responsibilty. Now (as of last month) when I go to the supermarket late after closing up biz I gotta remember to have a bag on me or pay ¥5 for one.

I think the supermarket should make some paper bags or something. Not everyone has extra bags to carry produce of all kinds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so now they make money from selling plastic bags

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Paper bags from recycled paper and cardboard and recycled wood waste.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

First world problems and spoilt consumers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a supermarket colleague working in the UK (which also charges for single-use bags), I understand exactly what these colleagues are going through and sympathise with them. I've been called every name under the sun for it, even though I have nothing to do with it. Another colleague in my store wasstruck over the head with a basket by an angry customer. I don't dare to estimate how much stock was destroyed by furious customers throwing tantrums, even in my store alone this would have been somewhere in the 4-digit region. To make things more awkward is that the charge was staggered across the UK, with Wales introducing it in 2011, Scotland in 2013 (or thereabouts) and England around 2015-2016 (not sure when Ireland did it, but I think they were before Wales), so any tourists from places where the bags were still free would become outraged. It's such a trivial thing to get angry about though. These people are supposed to be adults, but their maturity is nowhere to be seen. Only a very small minority seemed to actually be mature about the charge, let alone supportive.

@Shane Sommerville: I don't know what the policy is in Australia, but in the UK, the money raised from single-use bags is donated to charity. My store donates it to the Wales Air Ambulance service, though I won't speak for all stores across the UK. I would hope that stores in Australia do something similar.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

By the way, I've been using recycled plastic shopping bags or clothe bags at the supermarket for getting on twenty years. There a re probably five plastic shopping bags in my house.

Wow ! You're such a good example for society, you deserve a medal of honor !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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