Wales, the 5p Bag and the Selfish Few.

Oh come on Wales! No, we are not ranting about rugby here, but plastic bags. A report carried in the Wales on Sunday today focused on a new crime wave hitting Wales, that being the theft of metal supermarket baskets, in order to avoid the dreaded inconvenience of paying 5p for a plastic bag. What the hell? Seriously Wales, what the hell is wrong with us? More specifically, what the hell is wrong with that small subsection of society who are so driven by selfishness and greed, that not only can they not cope psychologically with the concept of paying 5p for an environment enhancing scheme of plastic bag purchasing, and instead resort to outright theft and criminality.

This comes in the same week that another EyeOnWales contributor witnessed a shopper in Newport city centre, hurling a Welsh Government plaque explaining the 5p charge, at a shop assistant in a rage at having to fork out the exorbitant sum of five one penny pieces.  Again, what the hell is wrong with us?

Of course these are individuals in the minority. For the most part the plastic bag charge has gone over as a great success, with more and more ‘bags for life’ being made use of and dramatic reductions of plastic bag use being recorded in shops. Whether this helps to save the environment or not is yet to be seen, but certainly there are far fewer bags flying around Wales at the moment, which is in itself a good thing. Think of it, if plastic bags had never been distributed in the first place, we would never have had to endure that douchbag scene in American Beauty with the interminable filming of a floating bag! But why must that minority bring the rest of us down? What are these people thinking? What goes through the mind of a person who comes to the conclusion that the better alternative to buying a plastic bag for 5p, is to loot shops of their metal carriers. Do these people collect the supermarket baskets? Are their living rooms in the valleys chock full of metal baskets piled high after a months’ worth of shopping?

Frankly, this story, as ridiculous as it might be on one level, is frankly appalling on another, and a damaging indictment on the sort of selfish idiots we have scowling around Wales today. For many, this Government led initiative has been greeted very positively, but for those same old few, who think they deserve something for nothing, it’s an all too familiar story. So, here is a suggestion. Going into a shop and expecting a product for free is farcical, and it is amazing that shops have held out from turning their back on this form of altruism for so long. However some in Wales seem to think that they deserve their freebies. In which case, if you know anyone who is taking home metal supermarket baskets, pop over to their house one day, and help yourself to some of their items, after all, they are advocating a system where it is perfectly acceptable to enter an establishment and make off with something that does not belong to them. In the eyes of many this might be seen as theft, in the eyes of these little bastards, it’s a social norm. So, let’s make the most of their social norms, and give them a reason to rethink the value of a 5p bag.

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