More than 20,000 carrier bags emblazed with the branding of supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Lidl and Morrisons have been seized by authorities at Newhaven Port this morning.
It is believed the bags, including some of the more sought after ‘bags for life’, were on their way into circulation around Brighton and Hove. Only last month police arrested three Portslade men at Hove Tesco after they were found offering bags at the knock down price of 3p to shoppers who had forgotten to bring their own.
PC Jim Carver, who heads up the new task force on bag dealing, was pleased with the seizure, ‘It’s a great result for us’ he said. PC Carver was quick warn off any potential bargain hunters, explaining: ‘Ever since the 5p charge came in we have seen an ever increasing number of fake plastic bags being sold outside supermarkets often by gangs looking to cash in on hardworking folks forgetfulness. Whilst many see it as victimless crime it most certainly is not, the bags are poorly made and are prone to breaking. I have had over 9 calls this week from heartbroken shoppers after split bags left smashed eggs, ruined food and one poor embarrassed lady chasing a bottle of lube halfway down Elm Grove’.
Whitehawk man Billy Mason, who was approached by a man selling the bags outside the Asda at The Marina, contacted The Bulletin to warn others not to gamble with their shopping. Billy explained: ‘It is just not worth it. Me and the Mrs were doing a big shop, I was actually bang up for it as I was starving and there was piss all in the house. As soon as we parked up I remembered we had left our bags in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, I was then approached by a bloke us offering us six bags at 3p a pop. Debs wasn’t keen but I thought feck it we are saving for our holidays so why not, so I bought them. All was fine until we walked back to the car and all five bags split. There was food everywhere, a car ran over all my Mug Shots, all my sauces smashed, the drinks were fizzing everywhere and a group of seagulls started on my Bombay mix, it was carnage! The only thing that survived was the corn beef and Debs was fuming, absolutely fuming. I had to lend £50 quid off my old dear to go back and do the whole shop again whilst Debs sat in the car, she is still fuming now. I wish I had of just paid the extra 2p and not bought those sodding dodgy bags but it’s done now, hopefully it will be warning to others.’
Police have told members of the public to remain vigilant and report anyone seen trying to peddle knock off carrier bags.