This page is optimized for a taller screen. Please rotate your device or increase the size of your browser window.

Managing Waste in Developing Countries to Prevent Marine Litter


  • The majority of marine litter comes from land-based sources.
  • Abt developed a compilation of best practices for managing solid waste.
  • Developing countries can follow these best practices to prevent marine litter.
The Challenge

In many developing countries, cities lack the capacity to adequately manage solid waste. Limited awareness of best practices for waste management and lack of access to key technical resources are key barriers to improvement. Inadequate solid waste management results in a range of environmental, health, and economic impacts, and, in particular, is the leading contributor to marine litter.

The Approach

On behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Abt developed a guide to help decisionmakers in developing countries bolster their solid waste management. We drew upon our knowledge of best practices—acquired over more than 10 years of experience supporting EPA’s efforts to help countries build their capacity to manage solid waste then disseminated those practices in a curated, interactive, easy-to-navigate document. Abt also worked with EPA to coordinate reviews from a wide range of renowned international organizations, including the United Nations Environment Programme, World Bank, and International Solid Waste Association.

The Results

EPA recently released the guide as a key component of the new United States Federal Strategy for Addressing the Global Issue of Marine Litter. To complement the guide, Abt helped EPA create online training modules. The modules allow users to explore specific topics related to waste management in a user-friendly platform. There are nine modules covering all chapters of the guide. Abt also worked with EPA to create communications materials, including a webinar and topic-specific flyers.