A furious former Asda customer claims the supermarket chain’s 30p charge for a carrier bag has made him “sick with stress”.
Stephen Evans, who has worked alongside Manchester mayor Andy Burnham while campaigning against knife crime and homelessness, says that for the past 15 he and his family had been loyal ASDA shoppers.
But that’s all changed – as the unemployed charity volunteer says that it’s “disgusting” to charge 30p for a plastic bag in the current economic crisis.
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Stephen would now rather get the bus to a different shop, where he claims that the bags are more affordable, instead of going to a supermarket that's 'ripping their customers off' during the cost-of-living crisis.
The Manchester lad claimed that Asda's costly carriers have impacted his mental wellbeing, resulting in a trip to the doctor as the prices made him 'sick with stress'.
Asda pointed out that the bags were not meant to be purchased on every visit and should be 'bags for life', which they would replace for free if they break.
However, as a campaigner on various issues across his hometown, Stephen is defiant and says if Asda 'want a fight' about the issue, they've 'found the right one to do it with' – as he calls on others to join his stand.
Despite claiming to have emailed Asda twice and receiving no response, Stephen has refused to stay silent about his complaints.
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The shopper took to Twitter and called the supermarket out for their 'ludicrous' bag prices, urging struggling families to avoid the superstore, mentioning the 'distress and anxiety' he has experienced as a result.
The campaigner previously worked for Homeless Project Manchester and joined forces with Andy Burnham to tackle knife crime.
Stephen also invited the Manchester mayor into British Heart Foundation where he was volunteering at the time to discuss tackling homelessness and landfill waste.
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Now Stephen has encouraged Asda customers to 'boycott' the chain 'until the big bosses take notice'.
Stephen said: "It would definitely impact families. It impacts me, and I'm single. So, for those in a family, it must be twice as tough.
"The company must realise that families use that store. They must realise that with the cost of living going up they should be making it easier.
"I want them to go back the way they used to be. There shouldn't be a cap on how much you can buy [from the Just Essential range], and the bags should go back down to 20p."
A spokesperson from Asda explained that the idea isn't for customers to buy new bags every time they go shopping. The 30p bags are intended as 'bags for life' and they will replace any that break free of charge.
However, the cost-of-living activist has made it clear that he will not be setting foot in the supermarket until Asda 'takes notice' and caves in to his demands.
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