Humanitarian assistance demands continue to rise in parallel with an increasingly urgent and underfunded global solid waste management crisis. This waste management crisis disproportionately affects countries that commonly receive humanitarian assistance, many of which often lack sufficient infrastructure or management systems to handle the country’s regularly produced solid waste, let alone the waste generated by assistance efforts.
Packaging is an essential aspect of humanitarian assistance for commodity delivery and protection, but often becomes an unintended waste stream in fragile contexts. Improper waste management of plastic packaging can inadvertently damage human and environmental health.
Many countries receiving assistance are increasingly turning away disposable plastics, forcing relief organizations to rethink their packaging practices. Humanitarian actors around the world are evaluating their procurement and supply chain delivery processes to respond to the issue of packaging waste management.