Small businesses share concerns

The Government’s decision to ban the use of plastic bags is cause for concern among market and village shop owners.

While they accept that the decision is good for the environment, they say the Government must come up with a better and cheaper alternative to plastic bags so they can continue their service to the public.

Moulu Viliamu, who owns a pork bun stall at the market, said he hopes the Government can source a good quality paper bag, which is affordable.

“We are small businesses and unlike the bigger wholesales and big shops, we cannot afford reusable tote bags that they have shipped in,” he said. “What we can afford are paper bags.” 

He added that paper bags are not good quality for selling pork buns.

“The paper bags will soak up because it is not good for hot food, like steamy pork buns,” Moulu explained.

Moulu uses plastic bags bought from Chinese stores to sell his pork buns. 

 “We know that plastic bags are bad and switching to reusable bags is a good thing but we question how well this was really thought out. 

“Of course this will work great with the bigger companies and businesses that can easily afford it, but what about us?” 

Elia Shop owner, Aotoa Leiataua Elia, agrees.

“Partly the reason why some of us are having trouble with coming to terms with the new law, is because there are still some unanswered questions we have,” Aotoa said.

She said the Government must give them some options and alternatives.

“Do we have any other options beside paper bags? And who will be able to provide them for us?”

Businesses are hoping to hear from the relevant authorities so they can sort out the matter before the ban becomes effective at the end of the month.

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