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Earth Action Calls For Urgent Efforts On Plastic Waste On 'Plastic Overshoot Day'

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Earth Action Calls For Urgent Efforts On Plastic Waste On 'Plastic Overshoot Day'

Today, 28 July, is 'Plastic Overshoot Day', the point of the year where the amount of plastic waste generated exceeds the world’s capacity to manage it, and Earth Action has called for immediate investment in measures to reduce plastic usage.

According to the NGO, 40% of the world's population currently lives in a location where the generation of plastic waste has surpassed local waste management system capacity.

Over the course of 2023, some 68,642,999 tonnes of plastic will end up as pollution, due to the imbalance between the volumes of plastics consumed and the capacity to manage the plastic at the end of its life, it added.

'A Crucial Role To Play'

“Today should be a pivotal moment in the global plastic waste crisis. We all have a crucial role to play in this crisis," said Julien Boucher, founder and CEO at Earth Action. "Now what is required is extensive and ambitious interventions from global governments and corporations, who can lead the change towards sustainable production practices.

“Without this, the Plastic Overshoot Day date will only be brought forward every year. If we can measure and report our carbon footprints, why can’t we do the same for plastic?”

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Read More: Recycling 'Not The Answer' To Solving The Plastic Crisis, Says Group

Recycling Capacity

Global plastic production has grown 20 times faster than recycling capacity in the past 10 years, Earth Action noted.

“We cannot simply keep producing plastic, much of it unnecessary, without addressing the significant costs that the plastic pollution crisis imposes on the planet," added John Duncan, global initiative lead at WWF.

“For too long, the inequalities inherent in the current plastics system have kept the plastic pollution problem out-of-sight and out-of-mind for many, with the social, economic, and ecological burden being borne by lower income countries and poorer communities."

Earth Action has outlined 10 country archetypes which profile every country in the world, enabling each to have tailored policy recommendations to their unique circumstance. [Image created with 123RF AI Generator]

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