The decision is the follow up on 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.
Plastic items prohibited under the law include all polyethylene bags, plastic straws, dishes, spoons, forks, and plastic paper carriages.
The banned items are deemed to catalyzing poor sanitation, blocking drainage systems, limiting soil-water absorption, silting and lowland flooding, among others.
Speaking to the media yesterday, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Vincent Biruta warned that no further import of such materials will be allowed.
“We have set a three-month deadline for plastic items available in different shops from today. We have given them that time to sell off all stock. Everyone dealer in such items should declare the quantity available in store so that we can see how to negotiate deadline adjustments if recorded items will not have been cleared from stock by close of the deadline. We are however optimistic all quantities will have been emptied from stores,” he said.
Biruta explained that factories have been given a two-year deadline to stop using plastic packaging items.
“We met on different occasions to assess if manufactured items were authorized and discuss possible alternatives. We have their database and some of the manufacturers have already pitched new environment-friendly projects. Talks are underway to assess the feasibility and seek how to collaborate in manufacturing authorized items without incurring huge losses,” he said.
As per Law N°, 17/2019 of 10/08/2019, every manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer of plastic carry bags or single-use plastic items must put in place mechanisms to collect and segregate used plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items and hand them over to recycling plants.
Illegal manufacturing of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items after the deadline is liable to closure, dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items and to an administrative fine Rwf 10,000,000; importers are subjected to an administrative fine equivalent to ten (10) times of the value of those plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items; wholesalers to Rwf 700,000; and retailers to Rwf 300,000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.