The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has once again warned users of plastic bags and other single use plastics that it’s punishable by environmental laws.
On April 30, 2021, REMA in collaboration with the National Police and journalists toured various locations in Kigali to monitor the use of plastic bags.
Visited areas including well-known places such as Giporoso-Kabeza and Kicukiro districts in Supermarkets where they are reminded that the use of materials such as plastic bags bags the use of single-use plastics is illegal and that those caught will be punished as per the law.
REMA says people should change their mind and stop using plastic bags because they are harmful to the environment.
REMA says traders and others who need wrapping materials should look for solutions to find more envelops for shoppers in order to avoid legal penalties but also in terms of environmental protection.
Penalties are imposed on those who don’t comply with the law preventing the use of plastic bags and other singe use plastics.
The factory is fined Rwf10 million, the big dealers are fined Rwf700,000, and the importers pay 10 times the value of goods imported. The small businessman is fined Rwf300,000 and the person who dispose the waste is fined Rwf50,000 because he is polluting the environment.
Some of the traders who were caught with these illegal plastic bags said that they did not know it was illegal because some of the bags were legal so it was difficult for them to distinguish them and those who believed that they were crossing the border were subject to penalties
Chantal working at Giporoso who was caught with drinking straws said, “For me I don’t use illegal materials like plastic cups but for drinking straws, I didn’t know it is illegal.”
“It is better if these plastics are prevented from entering before they cross the borders. Once they enter the country, it affects the people and they are the ones who lose” Musa said.
REMA Deputy CEO, Faustin Munyazikwiye said no one should say he was unawares because when the law was issued it is up to everyone a trader or a client to comply with it.
Isabella Iradukunda Elisabeth