The planet as a whole’s ability to manage plastic waste has just been overshot by the amount of plastic waste produced. 28 July 2023 has officially been named ”Plastic Overshoot Day”.
According to a recent report by Swiss NGO EA (Environmental Action), it was the first day that the planet produced more plastic than could be collectively handled. This will act as a benchmark date against which future plastic production and management will be measured.
According to Sustainable Brands, each country has its own Plastic Overshoot Day, which is determined by the amount of plastic waste generated in the country vs its capacity to manage it (called its Mismanaged Waste Index) — in the US it will fall on November 30. Ten country archetypes have been defined, which represent countries based on the amount of plastic the population produces and uses, how well plastic is managed when it becomes waste, how much plastic waste the country exports, how much plastic waste the country imports, and how well imported waste is managed once it arrives in the country.
Each archetype have different usage patterns, which could be addressed individually to help find custom solutions for each archetype. Generally, though the following is globally recommended to prevent ourselves from drowning under mountains of plastic waste:
- Global plastic production must be capped and gradually reduced. Despite current pledges and waste-management capacity increases, planned production increases will triple plastic pollution by 2040. Production-capacity capping is necessary to reduce plastic pollution over time.
- Plastics not designed for circular use must be phased out. Circular-economy solutions, applied at scale, can reduce annual volumes of plastic pollution by at least 80 percent by 2040 compared to business as usual.
- To ensure participation from all countries, dedicated financial mechanisms and capacity-building must be in place to enable the development and implementation of national legislation and action plans.
- Governments and businesses must be held accountable through mandatory disclosure and reporting. Businesses, for instance, must shift from disclosing their input of waste (e.g., “100 percent of our plastics are recyclable”) to disclosing their output of waste and its fate (e.g., “27 percent of our plastic is mismanaged and ends up in the environment”).
Here at NORMN Hangers we believe that avoiding the problem is always better than trying to find a solution later – by replacing non-necessary plastic items – such as clothes hangers – with a sustainable alternative. NORMN hangers offer an alternative to single-use plastic hangers. Our cardboard hangers with – metal hooks – have the same functionality as plastic hangers but are fully recyclable through any standard paper recycling system. We support the elimination of single use plastics in all forms. By using our hangers, you not only prevent plastic waste pollution but positively contribute to atmospheric carbon reduction.