Global Plastic Policy Reviews

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When referring to any of the results of our analysis and/or its concept and design, please cite us accordingly:
Global Plastics Policy Centre (2022) March A., Salam, S., Evans, T., Hilton, J., Fletcher, S. (editors). Global Plastics Policy Review. Revolution Plastics, University of Portsmouth.

Rwanda Plastic Bag Ban Law No. 57/2008 of 10/09/2008

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Contribution to reducing plastic pollution:
Effectiveness of meeting own objectives:
Strength of evidence: Strong Available Evidence
Reviewed under framework: Yes

This policy banned the manufacture, importation and use of PET bags or non-biodegradable polythene bags (NBPB) of less than 60 microns. A few exceptions include cellophane for food wrapping in hotels and other hospitality establishments. The criteria of the ban was extended to include all polythene bags in 2008.

Rwanda was the first country to implement a ban on plastic bags in the East African Community, with the desire to become the world’s first plastic free nation. Rwanda relies heavily on tourism and by eliminating plastic bags can promote eco-tourism and a cleaner, greener environment than neighbouring countries.

There are mixed perspectives regarding the success of this ban. While the ban is an example of a tough approach that has been effective at reducing plastic waste, a major negative consequence is the emergence of a black market for bags, smuggling through porous borders, and price hikes for local packaging and production due to the lack of alternatives. 

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We are confident in our research, however, not all evidence is made publicly available which may affect the outcome of the reviews. Let us know if you have research or evidence that can contribute to our analysis, or a policy you think would be valuable to review!

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Our methods

Through an analytical framework, we've reviewed over 100 plastic policies. These reviews determine the effectiveness of policies in reducing plastic pollution and we offer recommendations in light of this evidence, to enhance future policy making. You can find out more about our methods on our methods page.

Methods

Guidance

In light of our findings, we've created targeted guidance for Policy Makers, Citizens and Businesses.

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We are confident in our research, however, not all evidence is made publicly available which may affect the outcome of the reviews. Let us know if you have research or evidence that can contribute to our analysis, or a policy you think would be valuable to review!

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