Wednesday, July 09, 2008

America-The Throw-A-Way Society

The modern throw-away society
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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.

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.

Food Waste

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 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.

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