No Plastic Bags? It’s Already the Law in Rwanda

Rwanda has taken the lead on striving for clean, litter-free communities. Visitors to the country quickly discover that plastic bags are prohibited. Since 2005, the country has designated the last Saturday of each month for Umuganda – with all able-bodied adults required to participate in a morning community-cleanup program, explains Karen Louise Boothe Acharya for the Star Tribune: “Of course, a (perhaps unintended) consequence of this community service is less litter dropped on the streets – one will just have to do more work on the day of Umuganda if one litters. Another consequence (intended) is that clean cities can reflect public health and environmental health, and that can attract investment and development aid.” The writer suggests that Rwanda is an inspiration for other places like Minneapolis considering bans on plastic bags and that the community programs instill a sense of civic engagement, good citizenship and community pride. – YaleGlobal

No Plastic Bags? It's Already the Law in Rwanda

A ban on plastic bags in Rwanda is not just the letter of the law, but also the spirit – giving the once-shattered country a sense of vitality
Karen Louise Boothe Acharya
Friday, August 7, 2015

Karen Louise Boothe Acharya, of Minneapolis, is a former journalist and now works as a Communications for Development (C4D) consultant. She has worked in and/or traveled to more than 60 countries.            

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