Styrofoam plates, containers and cups will be banned in Samoa from 30 January next year.
When Samoa banned single-use plastic bags and straws in January this year, the government also planned a ban on styrofoam containers and cups, but deferred its enforcement until environmentally-friendly alternatives were available.
Now the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has announced that the importation, sale, distribution or manufacture of styrofoam plates, containers and cups will be banned from next month.
Earlier this year, business owners appealed to the government for more time to sell their remaining stocks of styrofoam food containers and cups and some complained the alternatives were more costly.
Those who fail to comply with the plastic ban can face a fine of up to $10,000, reported the Samoa Observer.
Meanwhile, exemptions have been granted for plastic bags and packaging brought in last year for food safety purposes.
Exemptions apply to food items where plastic packaging is necessary and used exclusively for packaging and repackaging.
That includes frozen goods such as meat, ice, locally produced chips and kekesaina, kava, local biscuits and repacked coffee, tea, sugar, flour and cocoa.