Supermarket giant Woolworths required customers who appear under the age of 16 to show proof of age before buying plastic knives.
A Daily Mail Australia reporter was stopped at a self-serve checkout for age verification at a Sydney store while attempting to buy the 20 pack of plastic utensils.
But according to Woolworths, the identification requirement is just the supermarket giant applying laws that require anyone who looks under the age of 16 to produce ID before they buy a knife.
A Daily Mail Australia reporter was stopped at a self-serve checkout (pictured) for age verification at a Sydney store while attempting to buy the 20 pack of plastic utensils
According to Woolworths, it is against the law for any person under the age of 16 to purchase a knife
When scanning a packet of plastic knives at the self-serve checkout, a warning message immediately pops up and the service bell flashes red.
‘Plastic knives 20pk requires age verification. Please put item aside. Our attendant will assist you prior to payment,’ the message stated.
The service attendant did not request an ID card in this instance, but authorised the sale.
A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that any product with the keyword ‘knife’ will be flagged at the self-serve checkout and will require attendant approval before purchase.
In some stores, a warning card (pictured) is even placed in front of the plastic knives on the supermarket shelf which reads ‘no proof no purchase’
Customers have slammed the supermarket for asking for ‘age verification’ when scanning plastic knives
‘They won’t even cut through butter’: One man was baffled by Woolworths’ plastic knife policy
AUSTRALIAN LAWS FOR MINORS BUYING KNIVES
According to the Summary Offences Regulation 2015, knives not subject to prohibition on sale to children include plastic knives designed for eating purposes or non-knife blades.
However children under the age of 2016 are prohibited from buying knives from commercial outlets.
‘New South Wales residents under 16 years of age are prohibited by law from buying certain types of knives. In line with these requirements, we’ve put controls in place within our point of sale systems to flag whenever any kind of knife is scanned at a self-serve checkout,’ a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘As plastic knives are exempt from the ban, our store teams do not need to see ID when these items are scanned and will help customers finalise their purchase.’
In some stores, a warning card is even placed in front of the plastic knives on the supermarket shelf which reads ‘no proof no purchase’.
The decision to carefully monitor the sale of plastic knives has been slammed by irate customers online.
‘Australia has become Nanny State Capital of the World. We really have become a joke…’ one man said.
‘Governments and self-appointed authoritarians have taken over our right to make adult decisions, while at the same time, implementing rules and regulations that make absolutely no sense,’ another said.
The decision to carefully monitor the sale of plastic knives has been slammed by irate customers online
A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that any product with the keyword ‘knife’ will be flagged at the self-serve checkout and will require attendant approval before purchase (Stock image pictured)
The flimsy plastic knives – which have edges barely serrated enough to cut through a soft mango – are deemed to be unsafe for underage customers to purchase alone.
The tough laws banning the sale of plastic cutlery to minors were introduced in Victoria in 2010 – and they are recognised under Australian law as ‘controlled weapons’.
In NSW any person under the age of 16 are prohibited from purchasing knives.
Prison inmates have been known to use plastic knives as weapons or ‘shivs’ and correctional facility cafeterias often use soft or dull cutlery which can’t cut through skin.