PLASTIC OVERSHOOT DAY (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     1st August 2023        
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Context: Nearly 68,642,999 tonnes of additional plastic waste will end up in nature this year, noted the 2023 Plastic Overshoot Day Report by Earth Action (EA).

  • Plastic Overshoot Day is determined based on a country’s Mismanaged Waste Index (MWI).  

Key Points

  • On July 28, 2023, the Earth saw its first Plastic Overshoot Day: The point at which the amount of plastics exceeds the global waste management capacity, according to Swiss-based research consultancy Earth Action (EA).
  • This day, which is just four days ahead of Earth Overshoot Day on August 2, is a wake-up call to the world. 
  • Plastic Overshoot Day sheds light on a critical aspect of the world’s plastic consumption: Short-life plastics, encompassing plastic packaging and single-use plastics. 
  • These categories account for approximately 37 per cent of the total plastic commercialised annually. 
  • India is among the 12 countries, along with China, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, Mexico, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran and Kazakhstan, which are responsible for 52 per cent of the world’s mismanaged plastic waste, it pointed out.
  • Overshoot Day for India, or the date when the amount of plastic waste outweighed the country’s ability to manage it, was January 6 2023. 
  • Three countries (followed by India) with the highest mismanaged waste - Mozambique (99.8 percent), Nigeria (99.44 percent) and Kenya (98.9 per cent) - belong to Africa.
  • India ranks fourth in the MWI, with 98.55 per cent of generated waste being mismanaged and fares poorly in the management of plastics waste.
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