Company expresses safety concern

A local alcohol manufacturing company has raised concerns on the dangers that could arise from banning the use of plastic bottles in Samoa. 

Skyline Boom Vodka Treasurer, Cecelia Wang, said should the Government enforce banning plastic bottles, this could be dangerous for locals who consume their Boom Vodka, which is bottled in 500 and 100 milliliter plastic bottles.  

“If you shift to glasses, it is dangerous,” Ms. Wang said.

“You know Samoan people they like to drink vodka and if they get drunk, they will throw the glass bottles and it is dangerous because some people can become violent when they drink.”

Taitu’uga Tupa’i Reupena, the Manager for Engineering and Production, said despite the Government stating that alcohol prices in Samoa should be the same; there are some companies who still sell theirs at a lower price affecting the local products. 

“That’s the thing about Samoa, the owners control their price. I am the boss, I control my price,” Taitu’uga said. 

“Some companies are selling lower than the tax ($38.60), lower than the price. We can’t reduce our price because of the Government law,” Ms. Wang added. 

The excise tax on alcohol is also quite high and this affects the company’s sale quantity, Ms. Wang said. 

“The customer can’t afford the price of our vodka because we have to put up our price because of the tax. The current tax will affect sales especially if we have to switch to glass vodka.” 

Taitu’uga explained the sale of their vodka is very slow now compared to before because of the pricing of imported and locally manufactured alcohols. 

“This is not good for locals because it is produced in Samoa but the goods from overseas have very high GST, and everything, why do goods from overseas lift the price of local products? 

“Overseas goods are very expensive, example if you bring a Boom Vodka from China it is very expensive here in Samoa, but the locals produce vodka here in Samoa, I don’t know why the Government made them the same price? 

“That’s why they increase the local prices, but Samoa is in favour of the local products. But overseas alcohol is very expensive, but now the prices are all the same.” 

 Taitu’uga said there is a high demand for their product and hopes to introduce glass bottled Boom Vodka when they relocate to their new factory that is being developed.  

“It’s difficult to change from plastic to glass and it’s very expensive. Plastic is very light and glass is very heavy.”

The company delivers their products on a daily basis around Upolu and Savaii.  

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