Throw-away society

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The throw-away society is a human society strongly influenced by consumerism. The term describes a critical view of overconsumption and excessive production of short-lived or disposable items.

Origin of the term[edit]

In its August 1, 1955 issue, pp 43ff, Life magazine published an article titled "Throwaway Living". [1][2] This article has been cited as the source that first used the term "throw-away society". [3]

Rise of packaging waste[edit]

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.[4]

Food Waste[edit]

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.[5]

"Planned obsolescence" is a manufacturing philosophy developed in the 1920s and 1930s, when mass production became popular. The goal is to make a product or part that will fail, or become less desirable over time or after a certain amount of use. Vance Packard, author of The Waste Makers, book published in 1960, called this "the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals."

Pope Francis Regarding Abortion and Immigration[edit]

Pope Francis mentioned the "throwaway culture" while addressing the issue of abortion, which the Catholic Church considers an intrinsic evil. He stated that in a throwaway culture, even human lives are seen as disposable. [6] He also cited the dangers of this culture in connection with immigration, saying, "A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world." [7]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Products, Waste, And The End Of The Throwaway Society, Helen Spiegelman and Bill Sheehan, The Networker,
  5. ^ "US wastes half its food". Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  6. ^ "Pope Calls Abortion Evidence of Throwaway Culture". Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  7. ^ "Pope calls for protection of unaccompanied child migrants". Retrieved 2014-07-22.