No plastic needed, my donkey will do the job!

Strange protests continue around Turkey after the new regulations of selling plastic bags at a price of 0.25 Lira ($0.05) were introduced through the end of last year.

While retailers are carrying out the government’s instruction, consumers are showing their unhappiness with the latest protest including a donkey in the market. The government promised to fine retailers who give free bags to customers.

The Governorship of Niğde has launched an investigation following a news article headlined  “man comes to market with a donkey in order not to pay for a bag.”

The Governorship’s investigation later revealed that the man came to the market while on top of a donkey. The customer managed to leave the market with his purchases but the stunt has left the Governorship unimpressed. Other customers have been seen going into supermarkets pushing wheelbarrows in order to avoid paying for plastic bags.

The donkey incident still has inspectors puzzled. A video of the incident, with the man on top of the donkey, has been widely distributed.

The shop where the man in the donkey made his purchase has been fined 4,545 Turkish Lira($827). The supermarket was fined under the 5996 numbered law, which regulates the Veterinary Services, Plant Health, Food and Feed. The office of the Governorship has vowed to fine the man as well.

During the investigation, it was also learned that the market owner, H.Ö is also the business partner of a plastic bag producer company located in the Niğde Organised Industrial Zone.

New day, new weird protest

In another separate protest shared on social media, protester Arif Arifoğlu (37) from the eastern province of Erzurum is shown riding a wheelbarrow into a supermarket for the same purpose.

During the first day of the implementation of the law, a Turkish man returned his plastic bag to BİM (a low-priced supermarket chain in Turkey) after paying the 25 kuruş (Turkish cents) and carrying his purchases home with it. This was seen as a bullish reaction to the unwelcomed law.

Other citizens have decided to switch to a classic string bag for multiple uses, while others post tongue-in-cheek videos on social media.

A supermarket worker said since the beginning of this month, customers bring their previously used plastic bags or other bags. When we told them of the new implementation, people comprehended it. Before the regulation clients were buying quite a number of bags even if they didn’t need to.”

The use of plastic is one that has been condemned by many environmentalists as it endangers the marine environment. Every year, trillions of plastic bags are dumped in oceans and seas, and this takes years to break down.

Plastic bag usage falls 70 percent, says ministry

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