17 Feb 2011

Ban on plastic bags in American Samoa to protect environment and animals

2:33 pm on 17 February 2011

The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency says the banning of plastic bags will protect the environment and aquatic animals.

Fossil-fuel based plastic shopping bags will be prohibited in the territory as of February the 23rd.

The Assistant director of technical programmes at the EPA, Faamao Asalele, says the ban will help break people's dependence on plastic materials.

He says the ban will also educate people on how harmful plastic debris can be on the environment and sea creatures.

"It'll reduce the plastic that goes into our landfill. American Samoa being a small community island with limited land space, it'll certainly reduce the plastic that goes into our landfill. It'll also protect our environment and also the aquatic animals."

Faamao Asalele says although the ban comes into force next week, some businesses have already replaced plastic shopping bags with biodegradable and other environmentally friendly bags.