In order to reduce waste from single-use plastic bags, several of the largest retailers in Australia have agreed to ban them.
While the environmental groups and shoppers applaud the action, implementing this change he been quite tense on occasion.
One man became so enraged that he was not provided plastic bags for free apparently attempted the choke an employee of Woolworths.
The states of Western Australia and Queensland along with retail chains Big W and Coles have placed new restrictions on the bags that started July 1. Last month, Woolworths announced that it removed all single-sues plastic bags nationwide.
The states of South Australia and Tasmania have already banned the plastic bag.
As of now, major retailers in all but two states of Australia will be fined if single-use plastic bags are being supplied.
The alleged abuse at checkouts of many markets has prompted the SDA, which is a union that represents retail workers, to start a new campaign that is known as “Don’t Bag Retail Staff.”
The union has an ad that shows a shop employee being berated by a man asking why he is not able to have a free plastic bag. The two are approached by two people with one wearing a fish costume and the other a turtle. And the turtle looks at the man and says, “You know why.”
The union took a survey last week and of the 132 members responding, 57 said they had suffered some form of abuse because of the ban on plastic bags.
Free reusable bags will be offered by Woolworths to its customers through July 8 due to the tensions that have been caused by the new regulations.
Coles, a retailer that implemented the ban, also pledged it would halve the food waste across all its supermarkets before the start of 2020.
The United Nations released a report that said as many as 5 trillion plastic bags get used worldwide each year and that amount of plastic waste produced worldwide annually is equal to the weight of all the human population.
The growing ban across Australia is part of a worldwide shift as close to 40 nations banned the use of single-use plastic bags with fines, charges and complete prohibitions in places such Bangladesh, China and close to 15 nations in Africa.