Fighting trafficking of single-use plastic bags in Burera

Burera District is mapped as one of the major trafficking routes for the banned single-use polythene bags.

As such, Rwanda National Police (RNP) has strengthened its enforcement operations against trafficking, use, and sale of plastic carry bags.

Successful operations 

On March 8, last year, two people in Cyanika Sector with 550 cartons (110,000 pieces) of non-biodegradable plastic bags.

Two other people were intercepted on May 5, in Rugarama Sector with 250 cartons (50,000 pieces) of the nylon plastic bags.

Other 73,000 pieces of plastic bags were seized from four dealers on July 8.

At least other five traffickers were arrest in last December in Burera District with combined 85,400 pieces of single-use polythene bags.

In the latest operation conducted on Thursday, January 19, Police arrested one Twahirwa Ndungutse in Gahunga Sector, Kidakama Cell with 30000 pieces of the non-biodegradable products.

"The polythene bags are mainly trafficked into Rwanda from Uganda through porous borders. Burera is mainly a transit route," Superintendent of Police (SP) Alex Ndayisenga, the Northern Region Political and Civic Education Officer (RPCEO), said.

Impact of community policing 

SP Ndayisenga thanked the public for their role in breaking chains polythene bag traffickers through credible information on dealers, routes and destination.

"Through information provided by the public, Police is able to track those smuggling and supplying polythene bags," he said.

Legal repercussions

Rwanda with a vision to maintain a clean, healthy and wealthy environment, has etched its name in the global environmental records for its decision to abolish the use of polythene bags that are a threat to the ecosystem.

Manufacturing, use, importation or sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items are prohibited under article 3 of law N° 17/2019 of 10/08/2019 relating to the prohibition of manufacturing, importation, use, and sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items in Rwanda.

In article 10, any person, who imports plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to the dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items, and to an administrative fine equivalent to ten times the value of those plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items.

In article 11, a wholesaler of plastic carry bags and single use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Frw700, 000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.

In article 12, a retailer of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Frw300,000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.


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