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Plastic Overshoot Day

19th April, 2024 Environment

Plastic Overshoot Day

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  • Eritrea is identified as the worst-performing country in the world for plastic waste management, indicating significant challenges in handling plastic waste within its borders.

Plastic Waste Mismanagement in India:

  • Despite some improvements in plastic waste management, a substantial portion of plastic waste in India is still mismanaged.
  • Approximately 68.62% of plastic waste in India is either littered or inadequately disposed of, highlighting significant challenges in waste collection, recycling, and disposal infrastructure.

Impact of Plastic Waste Mismanagement:

The mismanagement of plastic waste has severe environmental implications, contributing to pollution of land, water bodies, and ecosystems.

  • Environmental Pollution: Plastic waste mismanagement leads to environmental pollution, with discarded plastics accumulating in landfills, water bodies, and natural habitats. This pollution harms ecosystems, endangers wildlife, and disrupts the balance of marine and terrestrial environments.
  • Human Health Risks: Improperly managed plastic waste poses risks to human health through contamination of air, soil, and water sources. Toxic chemicals from plastic decomposition can leach into the environment, contaminating food and water supplies and potentially causing health problems for humans.
  • Economic Costs: Plastic waste mismanagement imposes significant economic costs on communities and governments. Costs include expenses related to waste cleanup, healthcare expenses associated with plastic-related health issues, and losses to tourism and industries affected by environmental degradation.
  • Marine Pollution: Mismanaged plastic waste contributes to marine pollution, with plastic debris accumulating in oceans and waterways. Marine animals ingest plastic particles, mistaking them for food, leading to internal injuries, starvation, and death. Additionally, plastics entangle marine life, causing physical harm and hindering natural behaviors.
  • Long-term Environmental Degradation: Plastic waste mismanagement results in long-term environmental degradation, as plastics take hundreds of years to decompose. Accumulated plastic waste persists in the environment, contributing to ongoing pollution and posing challenges for future generations in managing and mitigating its impacts.

Plastic Overshoot Day (POD)

  • Plastic Overshoot Day (POD) is a concept similar to Earth Overshoot Day, which calculates the date when humanity's demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.
  • Specifically, Plastic Overshoot Day represents the date by which a country or the world as a whole consumes its allocated share of the world's annual plastic production.
  • It highlights the extent of plastic consumption and waste generation, emphasizing the urgency of addressing plastic pollution and implementing sustainable waste management practices.

2024 POD

  • In 2024, the global POD is predicted to occur on September 5, the authors of the report warned.
  • This means, on this day, plastic waste generated across the world, from single-use packaging, household, and textile sectors will exceed the world's capacity to manage it, resulting in environmental pollution.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/world/eritrea-fares-worst-in-the-world-in-plastic-waste-management-shows-plastic-overshoot-day-report-95651#:~:text=POD%20for%20India%20is%20April,14%20in%20the%20year%202021.&text=However%2068.62%20per%20cent%20of,still%20being%20mismanaged%20in%20India


Q) Which of the following statements regarding Plastic Overshoot Day (POD) and its significance are correct?

1) POD calculates the date when humanity's demand for plastic exceeds Earth's regenerative capacity for plastic.

2) POD represents the date when a country's plastic waste generation exceeds its allocated share of the world's annual plastic production.

3) In 2024, the global POD is predicted to occur on September 5, indicating the world's inability to manage plastic waste beyond this date.

4) POD emphasizes the urgency of addressing plastic pollution and implementing sustainable waste management practices.

5) Plastic Overshoot Day is similar to Earth Overshoot Day, both highlighting the environmental impact of human consumption patterns.

Select the correct statements:

a) Only Two

b) Only Three

c) Only Five

d) All Five

Correct Answer: b)