Businesses begin plastic ban transition

Some businesses in Samoa have begun the transition to reusable plastic bags, in order to comply with the Government’s ban on single-use plastics.

The nationwide ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect January 30, 2019 — giving local firms over three weeks to consider alternatives. 

Apia-based businesses Farmers, Hanky’s and Samoa Stationery and Books (SSAB) told the Samoa Observer that they support the ban and have begun the transition.

Farmers supervisor, Siliilagi Saolotoga, said their shop is ready for the change and their cargo of reusable plastic bags arrived in Samoa before the New Year.

“This regulation is for the benefit of our nation and the environment and we support the cause,” Siliilagi said.

The shop already has reusable bags on the counters, ready for their customers.

Lani Foma’i, a supervisor at Hanky’s, said Samoa is making a difference in environment conservation by going down that path, but it cannot be successful without the support of customers. 

“This is the first time Samoa will be switching to reusable bags and businesses will not be able to push through without the help of committed customers as well,” Lani added.

SSAB expressed similar sentiments and added that they have put out reusable grocery bags for their customers. 

It is understood plastic bags are still available but at an extra cost ranging from one to two tala. But will not be available when the ban goes into effect at the end of this month. Food items are exempted for necessary plastic packaging for food safety.

Monitoring and inspections in line with the ban will be implemented by the relevant government agencies from January 30. Retailers failing to comply with the Government ban will be convicted and fined. 

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