India among 12 nations producing 60 pc of world's mismanaged plastic waste: Report

India's per capita plastic waste production is among the lowest in the world, however

Representative image (source:
Representative image (source:


India is among the 12 countries responsible for 60 per cent of the planet's mismanaged plastic waste though the nation's per capita plastic waste production is among the lowest in the world, according to a new report.

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

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

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

Though the report classifies India as a "low-waste-producing" polluter owing to its low per capita plastic waste production (8 kg per capita per year), it said the country's expected mismanaged waste in 2024 will be 7.4 million tonnes, which is "very high".

Still, India's mismanaged plastic waste will be less than one-fifth of China and one-third of the US.

The report also claimed India is estimated to release an average of 3,91,879 tonnes of microplastics into the environment and 31,483 tonnes of chemical additives into waterways.

People living in Belgium are the top generators of plastic waste, with a yearly waste production of 147.7 kg per person. This is 16 times higher than in India, it said.

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

The report said that 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 5 September, it added, the plastic waste produced worldwide will surpass the planet’s waste management systems, and the day will be marked as '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 23 April, the report said.

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

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