23 May 2005

Director for Environment in Tonga would support banning of plastic bags

5:02 pm on 23 May 2005

The Director for the Environment in Tonga, Uilou Samani, says he would like to see all non-biodegradable bags banned from the country.

The Government has announced that it is looking at imposing a tax on plastic shopping bags in a bid to curb their use.

The Finance Minister, Siosiua 'Utoikamanu, says the use of the bags has taken its toll on the environment and promoted a throwaway culture which is not part of traditional values.

Mr Samani says he believes the 10-US-cent-a-bag tax will encourage Tongans to use their own hand-made bags more often.

He says he supports the tax and would even encourage further action from the government.

"If it is bio-degradable, you know, I will support, you know, the use of that, but, you know, if it is not then of course, I would support, you know, being taken out altogether from the market."

The Director for the Environment in Tonga, Uilou Samani.