The throw-away society
is a human society strongly influenced by consumerism
. The term describes a critical view of over-consumption
and excessive production of short-lived or disposable items.
Rise of packaging waste
Between the start of New York City waste collections
in 1905 and 2005 there was a tenfold rise in "product waste
" (packaging and old products), from 92 to 1,242 pounds per person per year. Containers and packaging now represent 32 percent of all municipal solid waste. Non-durable goods (products used less than three years) are 27 percent, and durable goods are 16 percent.
In 2004, a University of Arizona
study indicates that forty to fifty percent of all edible food never gets eaten. Every year $43 billion worth of edible food is estimated to be thrown away.
Vertical integration as a cause
Vertical integration of manufacturing encourages the throw-away society, as vertically-integrated firms are able to charge excessive prices for (usually-patented) intermediate components, thus making repair of products more expensive than their outright replacement.
Notes and references