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Rwanda’s War on Plastic

by Jonathan W. Rosen (2454 words)

Plastic bags are such an ubiquitous part of the modern world that it is difficult to imagine life without them. Convenient though they may be, they pose a severe environmental threat, and Rwanda has made a commitment to eliminating them.

Kimironko Market, a bustling open-air plaza at the edge of the Rwandan capital, is in many ways a typical African bazaar. Seven days a week, throngs of Kigali’s 1. 3 million residents file through its narrow paths flanked by mangoes, bananas and avocados. Finely milled flour is piled in mounds, and slabs of goat and cow carcasses hang from metal hooks.

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