Rwanda has launched a new ground breaking project that will involve the private sector in driving the country’s shift from using single use plastics (SUPs) to reusable and alternative materials.
The project comes ahead of the September deadline to shift to manufacturing alternative materials or produce plastics for export outside Rwanda.
Law N° 17/2019 of 10/08/2019 prohibits manufacturing, importation, use and sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items in Rwanda.
Within this period, manufacturers had agreed on a transitional methodology of eliminating SUP starting with the issue of plastics waste collection that was tabled as one of the possibilities to start with, and recycle.
The new project dubbed Sustainable management of single use plastics Project announced June 4, 2021; will be implemented in the next five years (2021-2025) by both government and private sector at a steadily growing fund amounting to Rwf690, 924,600.
It will tackle three areas- Mechanisms for collection, transportation; disposal and recycling of single use plastics supported, financial mobilizations/contributions from industries/importers among others.
On institutional arrangements, the project will be monitored by Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) as a government agency, while Private Sector Federation (PSF) will support resource mobilization from the private institutions.
The funding model will involve importers of packaged goods using SUPs, and local SUP manufactures pooling funds which will be used for collection of plastics and implementation of activities.
The project will also kick start with conducting a baseline survey for eligible companies to contribute financial resources for plastic waste management, set up a Monitoring and Evaluation (M& E) framework for resource mobilization and development of project proposals.
The project was launched as Rwanda joined the other countries to celebrate World Environment Day jointly with Biodiversity Day 2021.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya said it was time to launch the project of Single Use Plastic Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in close collaboration with the PSF.
“The project is part of our solution to prevent and reverse the loss of Biodiversity due to plastic pollution. It also falls within Rwanda National Environment and Climate Change Policy (of 2019) which sets out to promote integrated pollution control and waste management,” Mujawamariya said.
Robert Bafakulera, Chairman of Rwanda Private Sector Federation said that this was a new journey that will need commitment and contribution from everyone.
”We are calling all friends of the environment here to support us in this journey. We know that we need your expertise, your financial capacity but most importantly your advice in this journey,” Bafakulera said.
He said that with the support of government and its partners, five projects have been identified and business plans developed and now the federation is in the process of mobilizing its members so that they can be implemented in the near future.
”These projects we hope are going to have a great impact in opening investment for climate change mitigation and adaptation by Rwandan Businesses. We will ensure that Collective inclusive investments companies are established for this purpose,” Bafakulera said.