Just in case you have been living under a rock as of late, a law came into force this autumn requiring large stores to charge their customers 5p for the use of a single-use plastic carrier bag – subject to certain exemptions.
You might have already noticed the change on your weekly shop, and it may have prompted you to bring your own bag. But let’s face it, what you really want to know is what the assembled wags of Twitter made of the change.
Here are some of our favourite social media responses to the new charge.
From car park scrums to brick overload
If there’s now a charge for plastic bags, what happens when the first plastic bag ‘shoplifters’ come along? Twitter user @GeneralBoles tried to imagine just such a scene, tweeting a photo of ASDA employees seemingly grappling with a customer above the caption: “Scenes as ASDA customer tries to escape without paying for his #plasticbags”.
Or perhaps some of the UK’s more stubborn shoppers will do their best to carry on as normal without paying the 5p? That’s the suggestion of another user of the micro-blogging platform, Amanda (@Pandamoanimum), who posted a photo of a someone on a bicycle almost completely obscured by the piles of bricks that they are attempting to transport, with the attendant comment: “I am not paying 5p for #plasticbags. I can manage quite sufficiently without, thank you”.
Avoiding plastic bags altogether… or paying the premium
There was plenty more wit where those comments came from. Some observers joked about the various ways in which the charge could be avoided, a Twitter member simply called Dan (@ThatConnArtist) musing: “Imagine slamming a pound coin on the Tesco counter before eating 20 plastic bags whilst continually maintaining eye contact with the staff.”
Similar logic was applied by Marty Lawrence (@TeaAndCopy), who suggested that one could “SAVE 5p on plastic bags by rifling through local dog poo bins”, as well as by TittyBiscuits. (@dawneywawney), her plastic bag tax avoidance plan simply being “eating everything at the checkout.”
Also weighing in with a gag was the official Twitter account of the venerable BBC comedy panel show Have I Got News For You, which commented: “Supermarkets to charge 5p for plastic bags. Waitrose to charge 12p for free range, organic ‘sac plastique’.”
Evidently, the new plastic bag charge has shown plentiful comedy potential, and you can find many more examples of that simply by searching for the #plasticbags hashtag on Facebook, Twitter or your other favourite social media platform.