Today, with plastic as the leading cause of pollution worldwide, its decade ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags has not only garnered high praise but wide attention from the international community. In 2008, Kigali was named as the cleanest city in Africa by UN-Habitat, and the Rwandan government continues to reinforce their efforts to maintain its green reputation. While schoolchildren are taught about the nation’s strategies towards ecological restoration, communities organize and put into effect new legislation on clean-ups and other public projects for the last Saturday of every month. However, this ban has met resistance throughout its implementation. This tension emerges primarily from its borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo by smugglers, taping these bags to their bodies or hiding them under skirts and deep inside luggage. If caught, the penalty may reach anywhere from serious fines to jail time.
At the Ivuka Arts Center, Patrick Nizeyimana is an exhibited artist interested in recycling single-use plastic bottles and reusing them into his crafted installations. Founded in 2007, this center is Rwanda’s first home for many visual artists and has been integral to the growth of the nation’s contemporary arts scene.
Text editor : Menna Khalil