Rogan Josh, a 24-year-old Filipino checkout worker for Wait N’ Shop in the UAE capital, was presented with the award after using an estimated 400 million plastic bags over her twelve year career, working out at roughly 48 bags per item that she’s sold.
“She’s an inspiration to us all,” said Phil Moreland, the organisation’s Chairman at the awards ceremony. “If every checkout worker was as diligent as Rogan, the plastics industry will be able to ride out the current economic situation and backlash from the environmental naysayers.”
Moreland said that the Middle East was becoming the most important region for the plastics industry, where supermarket checkout workers frequently pack up their customers’ shopping using “joyously ludicrous” amounts of plastic bags.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our friends in the Middle East,” said Moreland. “Without their tireless efforts to unnecessarily package even the smallest items, such as a pack of chewing gum, in vast swathes of plastic, our industry would be in crisis.”
The ‘Rising Star’ award at this year’s ceremony was given to 18-year-old Nathanial Bodkins, an Indian checkout boy in Bahrain, who last week used 56 plastic bags for a four-item shop.