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Plastic Overshoot Day: India among 12 nations ‘mismanaging’ waste

Plastic Overshoot Day: India among 12 nations ‘mismanaging’ waste

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: Although the fast-developing India’s per capita plastic waste production is among the lowest in the world, it is among the 12 countries responsible for 60 percent of the planet’s mismanaged plastic waste, the media reported on Friday.

The “Plastic Overshoot Day” report by Swiss non-profit EA Earth Action also said global plastic waste generation has risen by 7.11 percent since 2021. The world is estimated to have generated 220 million tons of plastic waste this year, 70 million tons of which will end up polluting the environment.

The key report comes ahead of the fourth meeting of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) in Ottawa, Canada, as the world leaders attempt to develop a legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution.

“Twelve countries are responsible for 60 percent of the world’s mismanaged plastic waste: China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, the United States and Turkey,” it said.

Although the report classified India as a “low-waste-producing” polluter because of its low per capita plastic waste production (8 kg per capita per year), it said the South Asian country’s expected mismanaged waste in 2024 will be 7.4 million tons, which is “very high.”
Still, India’s mismanaged plastic waste will be less than one-fifth of China and one-third of the US, it said.

According to the report, India may release an average of 391,879 tons of microplastics into the environment and 31,483 tons of chemical additives into waterways.

Belgians are the top generators of plastic waste, with an annual per-head waste production of 147.7 kg, which is 16 times higher than in India.

Oman tops the list of countries in terms of mismanaged plastic waste, with a projected 111 kg of mismanaged plastic per person in 2024, which is 30 times higher than Norway. India is in the bottom 12 countries.

By April 2024, almost half of the world’s population will be living in areas where plastic waste has already exceeded the capacity to manage it.

On September 5, 2024, it said, that the plastic waste produced worldwide will surpass the planet’s waste management systems and will be called “Plastic Overshoot Day.”

Each country has its own “Plastic Overshoot Day,” determined by the amount of plastic waste generated and the country’s capacity to manage it. India will reach its Plastic Overshoot Day on April 23, it said.

“The data is unequivocal: improvements in waste management capacity are outpaced by rising plastic production, making progress almost invisible,” Sarah Perreard, Co-CEO, at EA Earth Action & Plastic Footprint Network, said.

“The assumption that increased recycling and waste management capacity will solve the plastic crisis is flawed. Without aggressive reduction at the source, our struggle against plastic pollution will be a holding pattern at best,” she added.


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