Six Polythene Traders Arrested In Southern Rwanda

Six people were arrested on Thursday in Nyaruguru District in Southern Province for allegedly selling or using outlawed polythene bags.

They were arrested in a trading centre in Rugerero Sector where law enforcement organs and local authorities conducted the operation.

According to Nyaruguru District Police Commander, Supt. Boniface Kagenza, the operation targeted shops, either selling plastic bags or using them for packaging.

“The operations, which will continue in different trading centres are meant to implement the law on environmental protection and fighting the use of polythene bags in particular,” Supt. Kagenza said.

He identified those arrested as Violette Nirakomeza, Chantal Mukeshimana, Juvenal Munyaneza, Bernard Mucunguzi, Venuste Maniraho and Daniel Nkezabera.

At least 28 cartons of the non-biodegradable materials were recovered from the six traders.

The suspects will be penalized as the law provides, Supt. Kagenza said.

“People should know that trafficking, selling and using plastic bags as packages is illegal and punishable by law. There are Khaki envelopes, which arr environmental friendly and hygienic, and are approved as the best packaging alternative,” the DPC advised.

Use of non-biodegradable polythene bags is by law prohibited in Rwanda based on law No 57/2008 of 10/09/2008 relating to the prohibition of manufacturing, importation, use, and sale of polythene bags in Rwanda.

In its Article 7 “any unauthorized person, who sells polythene bags shall be punished by a fine ranging from Rwf10, 000 to Rwf300, 000.”

Any unauthorized person, who uses polythene bags also faces a fine of Rwf5, 000 to Rwf100, 000.

Littered polyethylene bags obstruct sewer systems, hurt marine life in water bodies and can cause flooding from clogging the country’s drainage systems. They also release harmful and toxic pollutants in the air.

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Author: Staff Writer

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