Staff at Australian supermarkets faced the ire of customers following the ban on single-use plastic bags in the country. Several instances of attacks on staff were reported by a national survey by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association.
The survey revealed that 57 out of 132 staff who participated in the survey faced abuses from customers as they were not provided plastic bags at the shop.
Customers threw their shopping on the floor, shouted abuse and even got violent with the staff. One customer even resorted to physical violence.
The customers were seen to be so furious about the change that they came up with dirty bags containing “vomit, dirty nappies and rat faeces,” as per to the union press release.
Supermarket chain Woolworth had started charging 15 Australian cents for a reusable bag from June 20. But when customers were seen as reluctant to the change, it started offering them for free for a short time so that they could conform to the change.
Part of an international effort started by UN to curb off single-use plastic by 2022, the ban covers Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) and the Northern Territory.