(AU) ‘Bag rage’ prompts backdown on plastic bag levy in Australia

Oman Observer | 01/08/2018

SYDNEY: Australia’s second-largest supermarket, Coles, on Wednesday halted plans to charge shoppers for plastic bags, succumbing to customer fury about a shift away from single-use plastics.

Coles, owned by Wesfarmers, and its larger rival Woolworths Group Ltd, removed one-use plastic bags from stores late in June as part of a national push to reduce waste, selling reusable ones for a small fee instead.

It drew a furious response, dubbed “bag rage,” as customers angry about having to bring their own sacks or pay 15 Australian cents (11 US cents) for a reusable plastic bag abused checkout staff and vented on social media.

The union representing store workers launched a public campaign on the issue and both grocers capitulated, temporarily waiving the fee.