(Micro)plastics and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 30, August 2021
Walker T.R.

Since the launch of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the SDGs have been widely adopted by governments and corporations in an effort to improve their sustainability. There are 17 SDGs, comprising 169 targets, which are measurable against 247 unique indicators. Despite pervasive global pollution from (micro)plastics, there is only one indicator (14.1.1b) under Goal 14, specifically related to reducing impacts from (micro)plastics. Reliable reporting and monitoring of 247 SDG indicators present unique challenges for governments and organizations to implement, which may be further exacerbated by the pervasive nature of (micro)plastic pollution if not properly monitored across these indicators. This review focused on recent literature to provide a critical overview of the key challenges specifically related to (micro)plastics as they may undermine the implementation of sustainable strategies and action plans required to achieve the UN SDGs.