Giving Compass' Take:

• Maria Westerbos highlights the ways that the Plastic Soup Foundation connects the Sustainable Development Goals and fighting plastic pollution.

• What role can funders play in addressing the SDGs and address the plastic waste problem?

• Find out why reducing plastic pollution isn't enough.

[One report states that] 93% of the rubbish in low-income countries is dumped in landfills in open air compared to just 2% in high-income countries. Plastic waste that is dumped in open air often blows away. Plastic is an eternal plague in many ways because it does not biodegrade.

While none of the 17 SDGs has plastic pollution as a main theme, the relationship between the SDGs and the need to curb plastic pollution is clear. The Plastic Soup Foundation, a UN Environment Programme-accredited non-governmental organization based in the Netherlands and founded in 2011, has highlighted the relationship among several SDGs:

  • SDG 3: Good health and well-being.
  • SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation.
  • SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities.
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production.
  • SDG 13: Climate action.
  • SDG 14: Life below water (protection of the seas and oceans).
  • SDG 15: Life on land (restore ecosystems and preserve diversity).

One could easily link plastic pollution to other SDGs as well, given that plastic and plastic waste are omnipresent. The diverse negative impacts of plastic on sustainability clearly demonstrate that the world has to deal with a tough and persistent problem.

The Plastic Soup Foundation believes that the fight against plastic pollution involves three essential, distinct actions:

  • Preventing plastic from entering the environment.
  • Avoiding health risks.
  • Realizing absolute reduction in plastic production.

How can we reduce plastic production and its associative harms in the first place? As explained in a press release by the Center for International Environmental Law in March 2019 at the fourth UNEA, a group of over 20 civil society organizations from the Break Free From Plastic movement will be pushing member states to ask this question, demanding that governments attack plastic pollution at its source.

Read the full article about fighting plastic waste by Maria Westerbos at B the Change.