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Earth Overshoot Day: the world is running out of time

By Tony Hitchin, general manager of Pro Carton.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the day that humanity’s demand for natural resources and services in any given year exceeds what the earth can regenerate in that year. In 2020, global lockdown in the face of the pandemic saw the day shift back to August 22. However, the re-opening of world economies means this year Earth Overshoot Day has come forward to July 29!

We are undoubtedly in the middle of a climate emergency. The devasting floods in Germany and Belgium, which have taken over 100 lives and left thousands homeless, have raised the profile of the issue to all of us living in Europe. This is happening on our doorstep, and we must do more.

Our recent research found that almost all European adults believe that governments (96%), as well as retailers and brands (96%), should be doing more to help the environment. It is time for every citizen, business and brand to start making better choices: about the products they buy, the materials they use and how they dispose of those materials. This applies equally to the packaging we use. Paper based packaging such as cartonboard for example, is recyclable, reuseable and made from wood grown in sustainably grown European forests, so is the perfect example of the circular economy.

Clearly, we need to change our habits and take responsibility for our actions. Support Earth Overshoot Day by choosing renewable materials wherever possible and help in the bid to #MovetheDate.

Tony Hitchin is general manager of Pro Carton, the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers.


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