The date when the amount of plastic waste outweighs the world’s ability to manage it, with environmental pollution occurring as a result.

For 2024, Plastic Overshoot Day lands on

September 5th

Sept. 5th

Plastic… is… everywhere

By 2040 plastic production is set to double, with plastic pollution expected to triple 

Plastic pollution is an environmental crisis – a crisis rooted in the imbalance between the volumes of plastic that are produced and used, and the world’s ability to manage those volumes when they become waste. 

The imbalance results in a significant amount of plastic ending up in the environment every year, with a devastating portion ending up in the oceans. Mismanaged plastic waste is a significant threat to global ecosystems and by extension, human well-being.

In 2024 the volume of plastic waste will overshoot the volume that waste systems can manage on September 5th.

By tracking this date we can more clearly define and understand the problem, and hold governments, businesses and individuals to account for their role in contributing to it.

We can also further support critical efforts to stop the flow of plastic into natural ecosystems and thankfully there is good news to celebrate and positive progress in this regard. Global negotiators are currently working to establish a Plastic Treaty, with a legally-binding agreement set to be in place by the end of 2024 that will reset the course of the plastic pollution crisis.


It’s time for action

Together, we can work toward reducing plastic production and use, improving viable waste management systems, promoting sustainable alternatives, and pushing for policy changes to combat plastic pollution and protect our oceans, the environment and the well-being of future generations. 

In 2024, a staggering 31.5% of plastic that is produced and used is mismanaged as waste, thus likely to end up in the Earth’s air, water, or soil. This means


tons of additional plastic waste will end up in nature this year.

Every country has its own Plastic Overshoot Day! Explore the Details for Your Country

A country’s overshoot day incorporates the amount of waste generated by the population and how well the waste is managed.

The story of a country’s Plastic Overshoot Day is built upon 1) the amount of plastic waste the population generates 2) how well plastic is managed when it becomes waste 3) how much plastic waste the country exports 4) how much plastic waste the country imports

Contribution to Plastic Overshoot Day by country

Each country contributes to a portion of the 117 days of plastic overshoot that will occur in 2024. Countries contribute in different proportions according to the total amount of plastic waste they mismanage, with this amount then translated into a number of days.

Is it getting better or worse?

Since 2021, Plastic Overshoot Day has been pushed a little closer to December every year by a few days, indicating a slight improvement in global waste management.

However, there has been a consistent rise in global plastic waste generation. Therefore, despite an improvement in plastic waste management practices, the overall quantity of mismanaged plastic waste remains more or less unchanged.


EA is a research consultancy uniting strong scientific research with meaningful analysis and actionable recommendations to empower individuals and organizations working on pressing environmental issues. A key tenet of EA’s philosophy and commitment to support collective problem-solving is transparency.

The Plastic Overshoot Day is estimated and published annually. Revisions to calculations and scope may occur between yearly publications due to improved data and new findings taking place over time. Therefore, for consistency with the latest reported data and scientific understanding, Overshoot dates for past years are recalculated in every new publication, ensuring each year’s metrics share a common dataset and calculation methods. Values may be readjusted compared to previous communications. Consequently, we advise readers to consistently consult the latest Plastic Overshoot Day publication for reliable comparisons. Relying on media reports from past years may yield inaccurate conclusions.

Check out a detailed description about Plastic Overshoot Day in the expanded methodology.

Country Profiles

Plastic Overshoot Day aims to offer insights into interventions that countries can use to reduce overall plastic waste and in particular, mitigate mismanaged plastic waste, therefore prolonging their overshoot date. 

While recognizing that each country has unique realities related to plastic pollution – including plastic usage levels, waste management infrastructure, and relevant policies – Plastic Overshoot Day looked to establish categories so that countries could be profiled and relevant and meaningful solutions could be presented and explored.


The UN Plastic Treaty represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spark global action against plastic pollution. However, to achieve this, the treaty must be adequately scoped, negotiated, ratified, and enforced with high ambition. Anything less is simply not an option.

To this end, the following must happen:

Recommendation 1

Global plastic production must be capped and gradually reduced.

Despite current pledges and waste management capacity increases, planned production increases will lead to plastic pollution almost doubling by 2040. This trajectory is unacceptable, and production capacity capping is necessary to reduce plastic pollution over time.

Recommendation 2

Plastics not designed for circular use must be phased out.

Circular economy solutions, when applied at scale, can reduce annual volumes of plastic pollution by at least 80% by 2040 compared to business-as-usual.

Recommendation 3

To ensure global participation, innovative finance and capacity-building are essential for developing and implementing national legislation and action plans.

Outcome-based financial mechanisms should be embraced by businesses and governments. These modalities incentivize measurable reductions and bridge the funding gap hindering progress on plastic pollution mitigation efforts.

Recommendation 4

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% of our plastics are recyclable”) to disclosing their output of waste and its fate (e.g., “27% of our plastic is mismanaged and ends up in the environment”).

Recommendation 5

Global North countries that export their waste to Global South countries must be held accountable for supporting infrastructure development in importing countries by at least the volume they export annually.

Behind Plastic Overshoot Day

EA – Earth Action is a Swiss-based team of sustainability leaders committed to delivering innovative and actionable research and consulting services to global organizations. 

Through its non-profit division, EA reinvests profits and directs talents into impactful initiatives, including Plastic Overshoot Day. In particular this initiative builds on EA’s extensive expertise and research in plastics, and specifically leverages the pioneering methodology and metrics made available in EA’s PLASTEAX database. Notably, PLASTEAX provides comprehensive polymer-specific and country-level data about plastic waste globally. Both PLASTEAX and Plastic Overshoot Day showcase EA’s commitment to transparency, raising awareness, and driving sustainable solutions to address plastic pollution, a significant global challenge.

Scope for better impact


We express our sincere gratitude to our esteemed partners for their invaluable support and unwavering dedication to the Plastic Overshoot Day initiative, exemplifying a profound commitment to combatting plastic pollution and fostering a more sustainable future.

The team behind Plastic Overshoot Day is grateful to the Global Footprint Network and their Earth Overshoot Day initiative, an inspiring example for establishing understandable benchmarks and empowering global citizens to better conceptualize the environmental challenges affecting our planet.

Voices on Plastic Overshoot Day report 2024

Sarah Perreard, Co-CEO, at EA Earth Action & Plastic Footprint Network:

“The findings are unequivocal; improvements in waste management capacity are outpaced by rising plastic production, making progress almost invisible. The assumption that recycling and waste management capacity will solve the plastics crisis is flawed. The 2024 Plastic Overshoot Day report can serve both as a testament to our current trajectory and as a blueprint for necessary action. The decisions made today will echo through ecosystems and economies for generations. Ahead of UN Plastic Treaty negotiations in Ottawa, we call for a steadfast pursuit of science-driven, robust global policy that matches the scale of the plastic pollution problem. Let 2024 be the year we pivot to a trajectory that embraces reduction, ensuring the legacy we leave is not one buried in plastic.”

Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder, A Plastic Planet & Plastic Health Council:

"After scientists ringing the alarm for decades it is now evident for all to see that plastic pollution has set humanity on the road to ecological and humanitarian disaster. We have a narrow window of opportunity this year to create a global Plastics Treaty that will protect not only our ocean, our air, our soil but our own children. The question for every government now is this – will you negotiate a Treaty to protect the health of your people; or will you negotiate a Treaty to protect the profits of the fossil fuel industry? Viable solutions are already available at scale, giving us materials and systems that work in harmony with nature, not against it.”

Professor Terry Collins, Teresa Heinz Professor and Director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University:

"EA Earth Action's superb Plastic Overshoot Day report for 2024 offers a special lens through which to view how different countries are balancing their relationships between plastic production and plastic waste management. It reveals the many objective limitations of the national and international balancing acts to better illuminate that our global civilisation will never inveigle its way out of plastic overshoot by following what the industry is asking for; a strategy of expanded waste management. The Report gets it right: plastic production and use must shrink as the most important pathway toward a sustainable future."

Dr Jane Muncke, CEO and Chief Scientist, Food Packaging Forum and Plastic Health Council:

“The findings of this year’s Plastic Overshoot Day report further demonstrate the dire need for strong global legislation that places the health of the planet and its people at its core. “Without the wholesale reduction of plastic production, the shift away from single use consumption, and stringent testing of the chemicals used in the plastic, we are bound to see Plastic Overshoot Day repeat year after year with growing consequence for us all.”
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Plastic Overshoot Day is an initiative led by the non-for-profit arm of EA – Environmental Action, based in Lausanne.

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Plastic Overshoot Day recognized the importance of knowledge sharing and transparency in addressing the urgent issue of plastic pollution. As part of our commitment, we provide access to valuable content for personal, non-commercial use on social media accounts or websites.

By collaborating with Plastic Overshoot Day, you can actively participate in unveiling groundbreaking information, engaging campaigns, and join us in urging governments and private sector to take immediate action. Together, we can push for urgent measures to clamp down on plastic production and usage, improve viable waste management systems, and advocate for sustainable alternatives to plastic.

By partnering with us, you gain access to a range of impactful resources:

  1. Entire communication toolkit related to Plastic Overshoot Day (September 5th, report and country specific content)
  2. Report 2024
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  4. Country/region specific content

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