Throw-away society

Throwaway society is a (usually derogatory ) term that was coined by critics of abundance or consumer society. He describes a society that is essentially characterized by a so-called throw-away mentality, that is a mentality that by quickly consuming ( consumerism ) and pollution is marked. The disposable mentality, even if it is actually a trend towards disposable products to commodities that have the character of long-term consumer goods, and neglected the careful care and maintenance of objects and a lasting permanent production in favor of rapid replacement by new goods.


Disposable mentality

With disposable mentality a not-for- sustainability setting is pejoratively referred to dispose of the often repairable or completely serviceable goods in favor of new.

The term also includes a critical view of over-production and the production of unnecessary or short-lived objects in a consumer society whose consumption behavior is geared to the possibilities of consumption and less on the need. Against this background also stands for the thoughtless disposal of waste in the countryside, on the street or in parks for reasons of convenience immediately after the consumption of action (eg beer cans in the landscape; see littering ).

So-called disposable products are already designed for single use. For example, disposable tableware is used to save the hassle of cleaning and the return transport. Another prominent example is Einwegsystme in the beverage industry. The plastic bag is a symbol of the throwaway society dar. frequently as a service charge added to the shopping it is rarely used further. Counterpart of shopping bags made ​​of textile fiber.

The repair of clothing or shoes, takes place if at all almost exclusively in hochpreisgen sector. Clothing is often discarded because they ( often only a few months) no longer corresponds to a very short time the zeitgeist or the latest fashion. The apparel industry promotes and follows this trend. Short-lived product cycles promote sales. It is produced clothing that clearly shows signs of wear after a short time and a few washes. The same marketing promotes the constant renewal. Similar developments can be seen in almost all categories of consumer goods.

Many household items outlasted previously often a generation. Due to industrial production methods, many of these objects and devices can be produced very low today. The low price allows more of a new acquisition. Again, go shorter product life times associated with reduced quality, as the products have to be designed from the manufacturer's point of view less durability and price advantages come with the purchase in the foreground. Did any furniture pieces "inherited" a few decades ago so many affordable furniture survive nowadays hardly a move.

Low reparability of products

Also quality and correspondingly expensive products today are often designed so that it can be repaired even in a slight defect or only with disproportionate effort, for example by potting electronic components, riveting and adhesive bonding instead of bolting, or screw through shear bolts. This is due from the manufacturer of modern product design and efficient production methods perspective, where the ease of repair must be weighed against many other factors. Also frequently exceeds organizational performance ( failure analysis, spare parts procurement, transportation / directions, etc.) the value of the defective part and often the entire product.

The use of application of the individual forms of the screw heads, which can be solved only with correspondingly expensive special tool, or one-way screws that can only be turned in one direction, however, difficult intentionally dismantling and so drives the repair costs in the amount.

Critics argue this pursues the purpose that a consumer has be used a small defect in the corresponding part to buying a new complete assemblies or new equipment.

Such efforts or deliberately built-in vulnerabilities ( obsolescence ) of the manufacturer to limit the lifetime of a product and to encourage the consumer to buying new, also called planned obsolescence. An example of this is the Phoebuskartell which limited the maximum lifetime of light bulbs on 1000 operating hours, though already at that time, the life expectancy of standard incandescent lamps was longer.

Throwaway society and economy of scarcity

The accusation of " throwaway society " is a phenomenon of the Western developed countries. In lack economies (such as the Third World, or DDR) is / was practiced out of necessity an intensive reuse or recycling. There is also the use of manpower and time much cheaper than dealing with ( scarce ) physical goods or raw materials. This is accompanied by a significantly lower waste and residual waste.