Identify one of the most important causes around the issue of waste accumulation.
In the past, more natural products were used to create the products we used everyday, as population grew and technology advances were made however, we have made a shift to quicker, “cheaper” products being made. Unnatural materials are being extracted and used to form the products we use; as a result, it is a lot harder to reuse such materials that have been extracted, combined, and altered. It is almost impossible to have a full cycle of biodegradable or recyclable products. This shift to a linear consumption flow is unfortunate and is what has led to the cradle-to-grave theory, in which all products we are consumer eventually end up in a landfill or being incinerated.
Consumerism rates that increased during the industrial revolution have remained constant, if not increased over the years. In order to keep up with the high demand for innovative, products and the desire for new designs every season, products are being made with a “built-in-obsolescence”.
The most obvious example of that in our generation is the common question that comes up every August:
“Will you get the new iPhone?”
Even if your initial answer is no you may find yourself second guessing your decision 6 months later when the newest system update leaves your older iPhone running slowly, or you’re simply sick of the out of storage space warning popping up every time you unlock your phone.
There may not be much difference in your older phone and newer version but even so, it is rare that you will ever come across someone who is 2 versions behind in the iphone series. (ok, my mom is… but she is my MOM).
Don’t you see? our perception of necessity for the newest or most unique designs is one of the greatest causes for waste accumulation. There really must be a conscious effort to shift our desires and priorities in order to force manufacturers to begin respecting our need to exist as a species in the future.