When Kenya implemented a ban on single use plastics in 2017, it became impossible for us to ship our essential relief items into the country.

Similar policies were also being introduced in other countries where we work, and our experience during the Kenya response made eliminating single use plastics from our aid packaging a high priority for us.

This was an opportunity for us to make a positive environmental change to our aid packaging. We started looking into how we could reduce the environmental impact of our responses, seeking to find collaborative solutions on issues such as plastic packaging and CO2 emissions.

Despite being a relatively small organization, with environmental considerations being a priority for staff, alongside support from management, we were able to implement permanent changes to our aid packaging, which has had a resoundingly positive impact on our sustainability goals.

The steps we took are replicable and achievable measures, and we hope to inspire many other organisations to do the same.

Imagine the scale of positive environmental impact if every humanitarian organisation took these steps!

Discover what we did next and the valuable lessons we’ve learnt.

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Packaging reuse in action

These images show plastic packaging being used to create new items or being reused around the home. Samuel in Mozambique (pictured in the center) uses plastic strapping from aid items to create shopping baskets, sleeping mats and trays, which he sells in the local market.

Man outside damaged shelter in Kenya

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