The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency has helped shape legislation looking to ban styrofoam products.

The draft bill would outlaw all styrofoam products such as plates, cups, egg containers and other common items which have harmful effects on the environment and human health.

Set to be introduced in the Fono in July, the bill will make exceptions for packaging for frozen meat and food items such as saimin.

It provides fines ranging from $US50 for a first offence to $US500 and higher for a third and subsequent offence as well as seizure of imports.

If the bill is signed into law, there will be a one-year period before it takes effect to allow businesses to bring in alternative products.

According to the Agency, during that time the excise tax for alternative products to styrofoam containers will be given a reduced excise tax.

The Agency’s Ioane Tomanogi told members of the Chamber of Commerce in the first public discussion of the bill that the two chemicals found in styrofoam, benzene and styrene have found to be cancer causing.

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