220 million tonnes of plastic waste set to be generated in 2024, says report

220 million tonnes of plastic waste are set to be generated in 2024, a new study reveals.

The study, called Plastic Overshoot Day report, has been carried out by Swiss non-profit EA Earth Action.

Sarah Perreard, Co-CEO, at EA Earth Action & Plastic Footprint Network, dubbed the findings “unequivocal”.

She said: “Let 2024 be the year we pivot to a trajectory that embraces reduction, ensuring the legacy we leave is not one buried in plastic.”

The report reveals that over one-third of plastic waste will be mismanaged at the end of its life amounting to 68.6 million tonnes of plastic in nature with a global average of 28kg of plastic waste per person.

Plastic Overshoot Day marks the point when the amount of plastic waste generated exceeds the world’s capacity to manage it.

This year Plastic Overshoot Day lands on the 5th of September 2024.


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The inaugural report in 2023 analysed plastic packaging waste alone, but this year the Swiss NGO has included plastic waste from the textile industry and household waste into its analysis.

Using the revised scope, Plastic Overshoot Day 2023 would have landed on the 4th of September, meaning a one-day reprieve for this year’s date.

The NGO said the notion that recycling will “solve the plastics crisis” is flawed, saying that any improvements in waste management capacity are outpaced by rising plastic production.

It said that just 12 countries are responsible for 60% of the world’s mismanaged plastic waste, the top five being China, USA, India, Brazil, and Mexico.

EA Earth Action urges UN delegates present at the upcoming UN negotiations to take note of the report’s recommendations that align to an ambitious policy scenario.

On recommendations to combat the problem, the NGO said these were tailored to individual countries and included reducing plastic consumption and usage, promoting circular economy models such as repair and reuse initiatives, implementing robust waste management policies like extended producer responsibilities (EPR),

Perreard added: “The findings are unequivocal; improvements in waste management capacity are outpaced by rising plastic production, making progress almost invisible.”

Single-use plastic packaging in cafes and restaurants, for sachets of ketchup and miniature toiletries is set to be banned across the EU from 2030, as part of new rules to curb packaging waste across the bloc.


Circular economyClimate crisisNature and the environmentNet zeroNews

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