Single use plastic bottles banned at Pacific Games

Food vendors selling plastic water bottles during the Pacific Games could get smacked with a $5000 fine, according to Waste Management Coordinator, Aliimuamua Setoa Apo.

Vendors caught selling bottles will be given 500 penalty units, each worth $100.

Aliimuamua said ideally this will be a plastic free event, which is why registered food vendors have been told there will be penalties for selling plastic water bottles.

“All the catering at Tuani’mato is all buffet so all off ceramic plates and cups, we are only expecting food waste and that is being taken care of by the caterers,” he said.

During the Games, S.P.R.E.P and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will be assessing the waste that is collected in order to paint a full picture of what gets generated.

That will be used for future regional events to learn from, Aliimuamua said.

“But we need people to bring reusable water bottles,” he added. There will be water refill stations at each venue.

Samoa can help ‘green the games’ by bringing reusable bottles, cups and even plates or containers for their snacks and drinks during events.

To support efforts for the first ever plastic free games event in the region, the Government of Samoa and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program prepared a waste management strategy and rules to reduce single waste plastic use and efficiently sort recyclables from regular waste.

Each games venue will have separate rubbish bins for regular rubbish and recyclables (plastic, aluminium and cardboard for example), and contracted waste management operators will transfer the rubbish to two stations in Apia Park or Tuanaimato for further sorting and transfer to the Tafaigata Landfill.

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