Rwanda National Bag Ban

The African country of Rwanda proposed a nationwide ban on single-use dispoable plastic bags in 2005. The ban was passed and made effective September 2008.

Once the ban passed, locals were encouraged to use the monthly obligatory communal work session, known locally as umuganda to collect all the plastic bags lying around or buried.

Rwanda now takes its ban very seriously. Even travelers to the country are warned that they will be fined for using the bags within the country. Luggage will be searched at the border and even at police checkpoints throughout the country to make sure you are not carrying plastic bags. Prior to the ban, one-time use plastic bags plagued city streets and threatened the delicate environment. Today, Rwandan cities are almost litter-free and some of the cleanest in Africa.