Following recent reports in some publications pointing to the lifting of the polythene ban for exceptional cases, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has reaffirmed that the ban still holds.
Stories alleging a U-turn on the polythene ban for exceptional cases by the government which appeared in Grands Lacs Hebdo and the East African Business Week of August 31 and September 6, respectively, were described REMA as “False, misleading and malicious allegations”.
“The Government of Rwanda categorically refutes these and similar allegations that have been and continue to undermine the success of the decision taken by the government to ban the manufacturing, importation, sale or use of polythene materials” reacted Rose Mukankomeje the Director General of REMA in a statement.
She reassured all Rwandans that the government policy on polythene has never been revoked and there are no intentions to reverse this “highly successful and widely appreciated regulatory milestone”.
In an intereview with Vincent Karega the Minister of State for Minerals and Natural Resources, he underscored the firm stand on the ban.
“The ban is still strong and maintained. We have successful stories in this ban and therefore we are not considering lifting it,” he underscored
The ban on polythene materials was based on a study which concluded that their non-biodegradable nature and long term impact and persistence make them extremely difficult to manage in the environment.
It upon this background that a specific Law (N°57/2008 of 10/09/2008) was put in place to prohibit the manufacturing, importation, use and sale of polythene bags in Rwanda.
REMA has established a strategy of supporting initiatives for manufacturing of alternatives to polythene materials and will continue to appropriately apply tireless efforts to ensure that the law is enforced and respected by everyone.