With Queensland, Western Australia, Coles and Big W stores nationwide banning the use of single use plastic bags on 1 July, the SDA is reminding customers to be prepared and that there’s no excuse for abusive behaviour to retail staff.
SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said that to inform and prepare customers, the union has launched the ‘Don’t Bag Retail Staff – No One Deserves a Serve’ campaign which included radio ads and online videos across Australia.
“We welcome this positive change for the environment and remind customers to bring their own reusable bags or simply purchase one at the checkout.”
Mr Dwyer said that while the phase out of single use plastic bags in Woolworths stores on 20 June had generally proceeded well, there were reports of abusive behaviour towards retail staff, and customers seeking to overload bags or use some that were unhygienic.
“While we understand that some customers may be frustrated by this change, there is absolutely no excuse for abusive or violent behaviour towards retail staff.”
“In some cases, customers have also 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.”
“We ask that shoppers check the condition of the bags they intend to use prior to presenting them to retail staff.”
“Additionally, we remind customers not to insist that shopping bags be overloaded, as this may present in injury risk to both themselves and retail staff.”
“Retail staff have been reminded of their rights to not overload bags at the customer’s request and to not handle extremely dirty or unhygienic bags.”
“While this will be a big change for customers and retail staff, with a small amount of patience and preparation, together we can achieve the very worthy outcome of reducing plastic in our environment and our oceans.”
“Please remember, don’t bag retail staff and no one deserves to be abused simply for doing their job.”
The ‘Don’t Bag Retail Staff’ campaign video and images can be viewed here.
SDA representatives are available for pre records, interview and comment. Please text your request, state and agency to media contact – Darren Rodrigo 0414783405
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