Plastic Overshoot Day: Report 2023

Plastic Overshoot Day marks the point when the amount of plastic waste generated exceeds the world’s capacity to manage it, resulting in environmental pollution. In 2023, the global Plastic Overshoot Day is projected to occur on July 28th.

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. To facilitate targeted and effective solutions, ten country archetypes have been established, enabling the profiling of countries based on factors such as local per capita plastic consumption, the import and export volumes of waste, and the country’s waste treatment capabilities. By considering these archetypes, we can present recommendations tailored to each country’s unique circumstances.

This report provides a full assessment of the contribution of plastic pollution worldwide. It is based on the baseline year 2023, with a global plastic production of 159 Mt, that was distributed across different country archetypes. The intention of this research is not to criticise the countries waste management, but to increase the level of knowledge and awareness of the issue, so as to pave the way towards a better managed plastic system.

“Plastic pollution is a waste crisis, a climate nightmare, and a public health disaster in the making. “EA Earth Action’s report is a stark reminder that our current, linear plastic waste management systems are not fit for purpose and there is an urgent need for policymakers and industry to implement robust waste management policies and invest in the infrastructure fit for the 21st century. “Next week’s treaty negotiations in Paris are an urgent opportunity for the world’s nations to get on top of this problem before it runs away from us. The fossil fuel and the petrochemical industries are lobbying hard to water down the talks, but an emerging coalition of retailers, producers, investors and NGOS are pulling in the opposite direction and collectively calling for an ambitious and binding global agreement to end plastic pollution. “Simply praying that we can recycle our way out of this problem will not cut it. We need as many CEOs as possible to be aware of the science and the data and join the push against plastic pollution.”

Key-Highlights from the report:

  • For 2023, Plastic Overshoot Day is projected to occur on July 28th, marking the point when plastic waste produced will surpass the capacity of the planet’s waste management systems.
  • Currently, 40 percent of the world populations lives in a location where the generation of plastic waste has surpassed local waste management system capacity.
  • 10 archetypes have been defined by report-publisher EA – Environmental Action, to help readers understand how country fits in the plastic waste management ecosystem, with associated recommendations tailored to each archetype’s unique circumstances.
  • In 2023, 68,642,999 tons of plastic will end up in nature due to the imbalance between the volumes of plastics consumed and the capacity to manage the plastic at the end of its life.



EA – Earth Action

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