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(No) Bag Lady

5.30.2010 | Facts, My Blog

So, I was reading my Lonely Planet East Africa guide last night, and I came across something very… um… interesting:

In an effort to preserve the natural beauty of Rwanda, the government enforces a strict ban on plastic bags throughout the country. Police are particularly vigilant at border crossings, and you will be searched, and possibly fined, if contraband is found…”

Now that would make for an awkward phone call home:

“Hey mom? Hey, yah it’s me. Oh great, great… really beautiful. Yeah… oh, yeah for sure. What’s that? No, I haven’t seen any rhinos yet. Of course I’ll take a picture for you! Mmmm, hmmm… oh really? That’s good. Say, funny thing… ummm, do you happen to know where the nearest Western Union is? Ok, good. I need you to go there as soon as possible. No, no everything is totally fine! Yah, ummm, could you please just run there and and wire some money to the Kigali Police Department. No, no! I’s all good. But, uh, really, the sooner the better for that wire transfer, mkay?  Yes, I’ll be at the Police Department waiting. In fact, I’m here now. I’m safe, though – the jail cells they have here are far more roomy than I was expecting…”

I think I’m going to go out and buy some water-proof stuff sacks today.




No… no… *shakes head vigorously* You are kidding me! The sweet irony of this is that I’ve been trying to get a recycling bin in my condo in my supposingly 1st world country and I’m getting to that point that I might have to murder someone to get that! Now, I should just go buy a copy of that guide book and paste that page on my community notice board! Shame on us!


Yah – crazy, eh? If a country can survive a genocide and then tackle the big issue of plastic bags… well, there’s yet one more thing to learn from the country of Rwanda.