25 Jan 2018

Samoa affected by China's plastic recycling ban

4:14 pm on 25 January 2018

Samoa has been affected by China's decision to ban certain plastic imports to recycle, which came into force on 1 January.

Plastics wash ashore on the tide.

Photo: paktaotik2/123RF

China has given a six-month warning about the 24 categories of solid waste it will no longer accept, including some plastics, paper and textiles.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme SPREP's Pollution Advisor Anthony Talouli said Samoa had no management system for plastic waste, but it would need one to avoid polluting the environment and marine life.

He said the large amount of plastic debris, particularly water drinking bottles found on roadsides, riversides and beaches in Samoa was shocking as those items could be re-used.

"Samoa like many Pacific countries still do not have any management systems in place to deal with the issue of water drinking bottles and recent studies into plastic that's been imported into the Pacific islands, the biggest form of plastic that's imported is in the form of plastic pallets to make plastic bottles for drinking water."