Over 40% of the world’s populations since 8 January 2023 have been living in areas where plastic waste generated has already exceeded the capacity to manage it, according to new research.
The new research report on Plastic Overshoot Day by non-profit EA Environmental Action also projects the figure will rise to 60% by 28 July 2023. Plastic Overshoot Day marks the point when plastic waste produced surpasses the planet’s waste management systems.
Each country has its own Plastic Overshoot Day which is determined by the amount of plastic waste generated and the country’s capacity to manage it. EA Environmental Action has established 10 country archetypes which groups and provides tailored recommendations for countries around the world.
According to the research, 158,943,925 tonnes of plastic waste will be created in 2023 and 43% of global plastic waste will be mismanaged at the end of its life, amounting to 68,642,999 additional tonnes of plastic in nature. The global average consumption of plastic per person per year is 20.9kgs, the report also states.
This must be a watershed moment for industry and policymakers to act in the interest of the planet and the health of human beings.
Reducing plastic consumption and usage, promoting circular economy models, implementing robust waste management policies and ceasing the import of plastic waste from other countries are some of the recommended strategies from EA Environmental Action to mitigate plastic pollution and for countries to improve their Overshoot Day.
Sarah Perreard, Co-CEO and Stakeholder Engagement Lead at EA Environmental Action, commented: “Our report is a timely reminder before INC-2 (Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in Paris) that the global plastic crisis is getting worse and that there is an increasing need for action. 128 countries around the world have already exceeded their capacity to manage their plastic waste.
“This must be a watershed moment for industry and policymakers to act in the interest of the planet and the health of human beings. Plastic Overshoot Day should be in everyone’s calendar.
“Governmental action alone cannot rectify the plastic pollution crisis. We want the research and findings from our report to be an effective tool for corporations to use before introducing new plastic in a geography, and to advocate for an ambitious Global Plastics Treaty.”