PLASTIC OVERSHOOT DAY REPORT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     12th April 2024        
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Context: A recent study has revealed that in 2024, a staggering 220 million tonnes of plastic waste are poised to be generated.

Key Findings of Plastic Overshoot Day Report

  • Steady Rise in Plastic Waste: Plastic waste has been increasing steadily at a rate of nearly 10% (7.11% specifically) since 2021.
  • Global Average Plastic Waste Per Person: The projected global average plastic waste per person for this year is expected to rise to 28 kilograms.
  • Concentration of Responsibility: Just 12 countries are responsible for 60% of the world’s mismanaged plastic waste, with the top five being China, USA, India, Brazil, and Mexico, according to the Plastic Overshoot Day report released by Swiss non-profit EA Earth Action.
  • Expanded Scope of Analysis: This year’s report includes plastic waste from the textile industry and household waste in addition to plastic packaging waste, unlike last year's inaugural report, which focused solely on plastic packaging waste.

Plastic Overshoot Day

  • About: It  marks the point when the amount of plastic waste generated exceeds the world’s capacity to manage it, resulting in environmental pollution.
  • National Plastic Overshoot Days: 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.
  • Country Archetypes: To facilitate targeted and effective solutions, 6 country archetypes have been established.
  • Factors Considered: The profiling of countries is based on factors such as local per capita plastic consumption, the import and export volumes of waste, and the country’s waste treatment capabilities.


  • Characteristic: Plastic encompasses primarily of polymers. 
  • Material Source and Composition: chemicals based on fossil fuels, such as natural gas or petroleum.
  • Plastic Waste: According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), out of the 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic produced from 1950 to 2017, approximately 7 billion tonnes became waste, either in landfills or discarded.
  • Plastic Waste in India: India has a population of more than 1.4 billion and generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day.