An operation Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and other stakeholders carried out in 10 districts, last week, saw several firms fined millions of francs for using banned plastic bags.
Samson Twiringire, the chemical and pollution officer at REMA, said the operation, that targeted bakeries, shops, markets and other businesses, raised over Rwf10 million in penalties.
Fines from the operation will be channeled through the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA), according to authorities.
Speaking to The New Times, Alex Mulisa, the FONERWA coordinator, said such fines are one of the sources of income used to fund different environmental protection projects across the country.
“The fines must be deposited to the Green Fund and it is just like other contributions that are directed to FONERWA according to the law. This is one of the sources of income for of the Fund,” he said.
Currently, Mulisa said, about 1 per cent of the Fund is obtained through fines slapped on different environmental polluters, including plastic bags users, illegal charcoal burners, cutting trees, users of chemicals, among many others.
The operation netted nearly 400 suspects with hundreds of kilogrammes of the non-biodegradable polythene bags that have been outlawed in the country since 2008.