12 Apr 2019

Samoa planning waste tax on recyclables

5:34 am on 12 April 2019

Samoa is planning to bring in a waste tax on imported plastic bottles, packaging, tyres and cans as well as offering refunds for returned recyclable materials.

Stack of plastic bottles for recycling.

Photo: 123RF

A task force has been set up after lobbying on the issue by community groups and the new levy system is likely to mirror those used in other Pacific nations such as Palau and Kiribati.

A principal waste management officer at Samoa's Environment Ministry said traditionally recycling businesses concentrated more on high value materials like scrap metals such as copper.

Setoa Apo said huge changes in consumption had generated more low value waste streams.

"But we're having a lot of plastic bottles around and other packaging materials (which) are recyclable. But the problem is they are low value. And the idea behind introducing the levy on some of those packaging materials or containers is to have such a fund that can assist recyclers."

Setoa Apo said the taskforce was still working out exactly which materials would be targeted but the changes were likely to be introduced in July and will be backed up by the plastic bag ban brought in earlier this year.

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