The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
SDG Week, which took place from March 6-10, 2023, is an initiative that aims to raise awareness and promote action on the SDGs across different sectors, including government, business and academia. The overall goal of SDG Week is to mobilize different stakeholders to work together towards achieving the SDGs.
At NoSUP Canada, we are committed to prioritizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in our business practices. We want to highlight the SDGs that resonate most with our mission, as we continue our fight to eliminate single-use plastic from Canada’s food system.
SDG 5: Gender Equality
Did you know that the plastic crisis disproportionately affects women and girls around the world? From plastic waste in water sources to exposure to toxic chemicals during production, the issues of gender inequality and environmental degradation are closely linked. By promoting gender equality and empowering women to take action, we can create a more sustainable future for everyone.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Plastic waste is a major threat to our communities. By minimizing plastic pollution, we can create cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable urban environments. By reducing waste and keeping resources in use, we can build a better future for ourselves and future generations.
SDG 14: Life Below Water
Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide every year? And at least 14 million tons of that plastic end up in the ocean annually, making up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. This plastic pollution not only harms marine species, but also threatens food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism, and contributes to climate change.
The problem is that plastic waste often comes from land-based sources, such as urban and stormwater runoff, littering, inadequate waste disposal and management, industrial activities, and even illegal dumping. Meanwhile, many countries lack the necessary infrastructure to prevent plastic pollution and properly manage waste, leading to plastic leakage into rivers and the ocean. We can protect marine life and ecosystems, as well as safeguard human health and livelihoods by taking action and addressing the issue of the plastic crisis.
SDG 15: Life on Land
Plastic pollution is a critical environmental issue, as it causes persistent damage to wildlife and ecosystems. The non-biodegradable nature of plastic waste means that it poses a long-lasting threat to animals both on land which can lead to ingestion or entanglement. The attractive appearance of some plastic items, such as colorful bottle caps, can be misleading to animals, and plastic debris can also be found in birds’ nests. The consequences of plastic waste entering the food chain have been shown to have adverse effects on human health, as it can result in the accumulation of microplastics in our systems. Reducing plastic pollution is essential to protecting and restoring life on land, which is a fundamental objective of SDG 15.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Tackling plastic pollution is a global challenge that requires coordinated efforts to achieve success and SDG 17 focuses on partnerships to achieve those sustainable development goals.
Addressing plastic pollution requires the collective action of various stakeholder, including policymakers, manufacturers, and waste management systems. Partnerships are necessary to develop innovative solutions, share knowledge and resources, and mobilize financial support for plastic pollution reduction initiatives.
Collaboration between governments, industries, and civil society can help to establish regulatory frameworks, such as extended producer responsibility (EPR), and single-use plastic bans. Partnerships between manufacturers and waste management systems can lead to the development of sustainable product designs, recycling infrastructure, and waste reduction campaigns.
Addressing plastic pollution also requires the involvement of us as consumers to drive and support these changes. Let’s align with the SDG 17 goal of building strong and effective global partnerships for sustainable development.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Mass production and consumption of plastic, particularly single-use packaging plastic, are major contributors to plastic pollution on land and sea. The incineration of plastic as a form of waste management also contributes to toxic air pollution. The best way to achieve SDG 12 is through a major reduction in plastics. Recycling alone is not enough to tackle the plastic crisis we’re facing. By preventing plastic from entering the environment and supporting the elimintation of plastic, we can build a cleaner and more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations!
Plenty of work is still needed to achieve our zero-plastic waste goals. NoSUP Canada is dedicated to ensuring we can collectively get there together through guiding businesses in the right direction with consumer decision-making research.