In urban areas food and other goods have a high amount of plastic packaging. I would assume this is a similar situation for any goods imported into remote communities. However, how much of their food is sourced locally from hunting, fishing, and gathering? These local food sources would not result in waste plastic, thus how much waste is produced depends on the sourcing of goods.
Thanks for your question – that is a fair assumption about the similarity between urban and remote settings. You’re right that there is a lot of plastic packaging in these communities also, whether the food is sourced from a small local shop or brought in by families after shopping in larger towns.
We don’t have any specific statistics on how much is sourced from hunting, fishing and gathering – but from our understanding you could assume that a minority amount of people do this very regularly, and majority of food still comes from manufactured foods. Also, local food would likely vary across the year depending on the season, so the amount of processed vs. local foods consumed would likely vary across the year, and it takes a significant amount of time for people to gather local food so that may not be a priority for them. It’s also important to consider that variety is important for diet, so for example relying more extensively on local foods such as meat simply to reduce waste may not be good for health unless those particular people have strong cultural knowledge about sourcing a variety of food from the area.
I hope that helps – but I’m wondering what project opportunity you are working on specifically? That will help me understand how to best answer this question and understand your design process. All ‘Waste and Reuse’ project opportunities are still based on the challenge that our partner CfAT has experienced that there is still a significant amount of waste that requires managing, especially because the same waste management processes available in urban centres aren’t available in these remote settings.
Best of luck with your project but feel free to ask any follow up questions here,
This reply was modified 5 days, 14 hours ago by Grace Roberts.
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