B.B.Q. outlets prepare styrofoam alternatives

Small barbecue vendors say they are trialling alternatives after the Government postponed its forthcoming ban on styrofoam plates, cups and containers.

The ban was scheduled to go into effect last week but has been deferred indefinitely, due to concerns over the economic impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The use of styrofoam products in Samoa had been on the rise with the organisers of weddings, funerals, and birthdays preferring them over organic alternatives. 

Malia Fili, who runs a small food stand called the Vailoa Bay Center with a few of her friends, said she became worried when the styrofoam ban was announced.

But the deferral of the ban has given her business time to use up the remaining styrofoam containers.

She added that it is best that they follow the Government’s directives in relation to styrofoam products in order to avoid the risks of getting fined.

“It is best to follow the Government’s orders rather than do what we want to,” she said in an interview. “Because there are punishments on us if we don’t follow any of the rules by using plates that are not allowed to be used anymore.”

Ms Fili urged members of the public to follow state of emergency orders, especially during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Another barbecue vendor, Penny Ioane of Lepea, initially avoided using styrofoam products when she first set up her business.

However, she said she would not mind using the traditional Samoan plate (mailo) if there are no alternatives to styrofoam products. 

While the ban on styrofoam products will affect small barbecue vendors like herself, Mrs Ioane said she supports the ban as it is good for the environment.

It is not known when the ban will be implemented, after the Government decided last week to defer its June 30 deadline, but it will not affect ‘Chadwick’s B.B.Q.’ owner Maria Nive.

Ms Nive told the Samoa Observer that they had refrained from using styrofoam containers since starting their business in 2014. 

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