I totally agree with the Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner that Rwanda’s government has successfully banned the use of plastic bags. I visited Kigali last week and I was pleased with their plastic-bag free environment.
I asked a friend in Kacyiru, a Kigali suburb the trick the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority has used to ban successfully the use of plastic bags.
My friend told me that REMA had massively sensitized Rwandans especially the traders on the dangers of using plastic bags.
The friend explained that even residents from rural areas know that anyone using plastic bags is breaking the law on environmental protection.
I was really shocked because when the issue came up in my country, Uganda, some shop-owners and traders just felt the government was being too heavy-handed.
Instead, the rubbish has continued to end up in wetlands surrounding Lake Victoria, where it pollutes water supplies.
You find may people burning used plastic bags yet these release toxic chemicals into the air which is dangerous to our health.
Due to serious environmental concerns and the difficulties in the disposal of plastic bags, leaders in the region, where the menace has persisted, should consult Rwanda’s environmental protection body to learn how they have succeeded in getting rid of the plastic bag.