A woman said to have been trafficking plastic bags was arrested on Monday in Kiringa Cell, Kagogo Sector of Burera District.
According to Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Alex Rugigana, the Police spokesperson for the Northern region, Clementine Uzamukunda, 40, was arrested in a “targeted operation” conducted by Cyanika Police station.
She was at the time found with 291 cartons of the banned biodegradable bags.
“There was information that Uzamukunda was engaged in trafficking plastic bags into the country. On Monday, Cyanika Police station got information that she would bring another consignment; Police and DASSO (District Administrative Security Support Organ) trailed and arrested her at about 10pm with boxes containing 291 cartons of the polythene bags,” CIP Rugigana said.
“There are alternative packaging bags that are eco-friendly. Using plastic bags is a zero-tolerance policy in Rwanda and anyone found in such unlawful acts will face arrest to face the law,” he warned.
It is illegal to import, produce, use or sell plastic bags and plastic packaging in Rwanda. It was outlawed in 2008.
Plastic bags are a major global issue, blamed for clogging oceans and killing marine life.
Equally, experts say the bags contribute to flooding and prevent crops from growing because rainwater can’t penetrate the soil when it is littered with plastic.