Earth Overshoot Day 2023 fell on the 2nd of August. As we witness the occurrence of this day being pushed forward on the calendar, it becomes increasingly evident that our consumption patterns are fundamentally unsustainable. This day marks the point in the year when humanity has used up more natural resources than our planet can regenerate in that same year. By the end of 2023, we will have consumed nearly double the natural resources that the earth is able to regenerate.


Earth Overshoot Day, formerly referred to as Ecological Debt Day, has been an annual reminder of the daunting reality that we are living beyond the means of our planet. Calculated by Global Footprint Network each year, this ominous date seems to arrive earlier and earlier. In 1970, Earth Overshoot Day fell in December, but with each passing decade, that date has progressed exponentially. Each year, this day provides a foreboding reminder that we are depleting Earth’s resources faster than ever before.


On the opposite end of the value chain, we have Plastic Overshoot Day. This day, calculated by Earth Action, represents the point at which the world’s capacity to manage plastic waste has been fully exhausted. Past this day, all of the plastic waste generated globally becomes mismanaged, increasing its likelihood of entering the natural environment. Plastic has become an omnipresent problem, inflicting immense harm on wildlife, marine habitats, and even infiltrating our food chain. Plastic Overshoot Day 2023 falling on the 28th of July, before Earth Overshoot Day 2023, compels us to confront the impact of waste.


So, what can we do to reverse this bleak narrative? The answer lies in prioritising waste management and embracing the principles of the circular economy. Both Earth Overshoot Day and Plastic Overshoot Day highlight the importance of prioritising the waste hierarchy and adopting circular principles. By doing this, we can prevent waste from ending up in landfills or the natural environment and divert valuable resources from reaching their end-of-life, keeping them in circulation and minimising the demand for raw materials.

The waste hierarchy prioritises waste management practices from most to least preferrable based on environmental impact, and resource and energy consumption. Most preferred is avoidance and reduction of waste, followed by reuse, recycling and energy recovery, with least preferred being disposal and incineration.

The circular economy embodies sustainable production and consumption. It aims to decouple economic growth from resource consumption by promoting the reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling of goods. By embracing a circular mindset, we can reduce our dependence on virgin resources, minimize waste generation, and create a regenerative system that benefits both the environment and the economy.

To combat the growing challenge of resource consumption and plastic waste mismanagement, we at Don’t Waste advocate for effective waste management systems and the adoption of the circular economy (Read: Circular Economy vs Recycling: What’s the difference?).


Earth Overshoot Day serves as a stark reminder that we are putting more strain on our planet than it can bear, and the unfortunate reality is that this burden is escalating with each passing year. By recognising this urgency and embracing responsible waste management and circular economy principles, we can work collectively towards a more sustainable future. Let us strive to make every day ‘Earth Restoration Day’, by conserving resources, managing waste responsibly, and reducing plastic pollution. Together, we can turn back the overshoot clock.

At Don’t Waste, we are committed to offering innovative solutions that align with circular economy principles. Let us work together to prioritise waste reduction, circularity, and responsible resource consumption. Together, we can ensure a brighter future for our planet and generations to come.

enquire now
Join our social media channels
%d bloggers like this: