U.S. Ambassador touts plastic ban ‘forward thinking”

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown.

U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown.

United States Ambassador to Samoa, Scott Brown, has praised the Guardians Environmental Education Campaign and commended Samoa on their legislative move to ban single use plastics.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mr. Brown welcomed the recent announcement by the Samoa government.

“I tell you, it’s forward thinking to basically ban all plastics,” he said. 

“It’s very forward thinking and there are a lot of countries that are doing it and I’m familiar with the ‘island of trash’ that he is referring to and its absolutely affecting our sea life – there’s got to be a better recycling effort throughout the world.” 

“I’m going to speak to the Prime Minister about it and speak about how he is going implement it. I think it’s really, really forward thinking.”

The former United States Republican Senator for Massachusetts (2010 -2013), popular for his bi-partisan approach and centrist views during his tenure, believes that climate change is a combination of both human and natural causes

“Yes I believe that the climate is changing all the time and I think the question is that others and myself have is - is it man made or natural?

“And I believe it’s a combination and that’s why in our own home, we turn off the lights we recycle everything, it starts locally.”

“As a former elected official of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, I supported many initiatives to try be a better citizen of the world – I think that’s really important.”

The U.S Ambassador praised the Samoa Voyaging Society’s hands on environmental campaign focused on impacting lasting behavioural change in the villages starting with the youth

“I think that’s what the Guardians are going to teach the villages, they’re saying, hey listen you can’t keep throwing that stuff in the ocean. I get upset because I remember back in the day, smoking and a beer – you don’t throw cigarettes into the woods because you can start forest fire – its common sense stuff.”

According to Mr. Brown, the U.S Embassy believes strongly in working unilaterally with other countries in order to meet climate change initiatives in the region. 

“We are trying something new with my teams initiative is to work with the other countries Australia, New Zealand and obviously Samoa, United States, Great Britain and, Canada – why are we doing everything separately? That makes no sense. I mean why? Just so you can have a sign up?”

“There should be a sign up of everybody. Even China we would like to partner up with them in projects too. We‘re going to try and open those doors and break down some barriers.”

Mr. Brown indicated that they will continue to find areas to support and provide funds for but he also pointed out that the Embassy relies on the governments and N.G.Os to approach them and make them aware of their needs.

There was also one other thing that the Ambassador and in particular his good lady were impressed with at the launching of the Samoa Voyaging Society’s environmental campaign. 

“I love those straws,” Mr. Brown said referring to the bamboo straws in the niu replacing the usual plastic straws. 

“I’m going to try and grab a bunch of them and we’ll bring them back into business, I mean who would have thought that you could make a sustainable straw out of bamboo and you can reuse it’s all good.”

Read more about Samoa’s plastic ban.


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