Bag Complaints For Life

, , , , | Right | February 2, 2021

UK law has changed, and stores with more than fifteen employees are now required to charge 5p for carrier bags. In a bid to stop people just using the thin, small produce bags, instead, the new law states that if a produce bag has anything other than meat or loose produce in it, stores will also have to charge 5p per bag.

For months, we have to charge people for attempting to use the produce bags to get round paying 5p for a carrier bag and deal with angry customers having a go at us over a law we legally have to follow.

Nowadays, most British supermarkets have scrapped 5p carrier bags altogether to reduce the plastic waste and my supermarket chain charges 15p for a “bag for life” — slightly stronger and bigger than the 5p bags that we replace for free when they break. We still occasionally catch people taking produce bags for their small purchases and have to stop them by explaining they’ll be charged 5p if they use the bag.

In the last week, we stopped being able to order the produce bags. It turns out head office forgot to tell stores that in a further attempt to limit plastic, we no longer offer free produce bags. Instead, we now stock “reusable” thick plastic produce bags for £1. I have had some variation of this conversation with at least twelve customers over four days.

Customer: “Excuse me, where are your produce bags?”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. In our bid to limit plastic use as a supermarket, we are no longer providing produce bags. Sorry. There are reusable bags for £1.”

Customer: “What?! What am I supposed to do with my [random loose produce item that doesn’t really need a bag]?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s a company decision and there’s nothing I can do.”

Customer: “Well, it’s stupid! We need the bags!”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but there are physically no produce bags in the store.”

So far, my coworker has had a customer get so close to her and have a go at her about the situation that she physically had to push him away. And I’ve had somebody ask for the head office’s number to complain. Apparently, the future of our planet isn’t as important as your bananas being in a bag?

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