Pearl Recycling

FROM RWANDA to the WORLD

When you arrive at Kigali airport you are greeted by a large sign that says, “the use of non-biodegradable polythene bags is prohibited.”

Take the issue of litter for example. Africa is drowning in garbage at the moment; living standards have risen enough for millions to be able to afford to shop in supermarkets and buy plastic-wrapped foods, but governments still lack the capacity or inclination to hire people to pick up the mess. In Rwanda however, there is very little sign of the tsunami of detritus that is overwhelming the rest of the continent.

When you arrive at Kigali airport you are greeted by a large sign that says, “the use of non-biodegradable polythene bags is prohibited.” It takes a certain chutzpah to attempt to impose a nationwide ban on such a ubiquitous household product as the plastic bag, and in any other African country such a ban would not survive beyond the poster at the border; as far as I can find out, only one other country in the world — Bangladesh — is currently attempting such a thing, with limited results. But in Rwanda it is working. It is rare to see any plastic littering the verges, and I never saw any of the impromptu landfills that are so common in informal settlements.

This is one of the positive policy for other Africa countries to embrace.

Single Use Plastics should be abolished. Recycling and Upcycling should be encouraged.