“Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract- SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT- and turn it into a reality for all the world people.” The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs, also known as the Global Goals) are 17 goals with 169 targets that all UN Member States have agreed to work towards achieving by the year 2030.
Did you know that in the near future we all might be spending as much as a quarter of our income on healthcare services? SDG 3 ensures healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages and it is linked to problems like quality, access and affordability of healthcare. Good health includes a variety of aspects and while it is a global problem, each region faces its own challenges. Some of the biggest global and regional issues defined by the united nations are reproductive, maternal, new born and child health, as well as chronic and infectious diseases, mental health, and substance abuse.
According to a report by the world bank and the world Health organization, half of the global population still lacks access to essential health services and 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty due to healthcare spendings. This shows that access to healthcare is an urgent problem worldwide. SDG 3 aims to reduce the death rates of mothers, newborns and children under the age of 5 and strives for universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. Noncommunicable diseases, like cancer or diabetes, substance abuse, mental health, traffic, and safety accidents and the price of healthcare have a significant effect on the lives of people everywhere.
As I mentioned above that in the near future we might be spending half of our income on healthcare facilities and one of the reason behind this is plastic pollution or we can say that one of the main reason that hinders the development of SDG 3 goal is plastic pollution. When we look around us we see so much of plastic like food containers, plastic bottles, pens, even our phone cover, the list is endless. Despite its ubiquity, the effects of plastic pollution on human health remain mostly unknown to the majority of people. There is a negative effects of the plastic pollution that is increasing day-by-day on our health. Society has become completely dependent on plastic and they don’t even think once that how this is affecting our health and well being. The plastic that we discard eventually find their ways into ocean and than it affects the Marine and human life. Some of the toxins present in plastics are directly related to health issues such as cancer, birth defects, childhood development issues, and problems of the immune system.
But what exactly is the relation of SDG3 to plastic pollution? We see that Plastics are a combination of polymers and additives. The latter are chemical substances, including plasticizers and flame retardants, that are added to give plastic the desired properties. Some of these substances disrupt the hormone systems of humans and animals. The effects of nano plastics are another major concern. These particles are so small that they can penetrate all parts of the body: body tissue, organs, brain and cells. These relatively highly toxic particles can cause local inflammation and all sorts of physiological effects and effect our well being and health.
Plastic pollution is a multidimensional problem that requires a holistic approach. Tackling this issue and enhancing sustainable production and consumption of plastics requires rethinking the way economic development is pursued. The world should also concentrate on SDG 3 (Health and well-being) in order to prioritize real solutions that address the problem at its core. The initial focus would be to realize an absolute reduction in plastic production in order to avoid and prevent plastic from entering the environment and thereby imposing health risks.
Also, on a global level, we need to strengthen healthcare systems to ensure that they help who need it and to significantly reduce the number of death and illnesses related to hazardous chemicals, environmental pollution, and infectious diseases. Finally, healthcare coverage needs to be assessible to everyone regardless of their income and residence.