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The martyrdom of a disposable world.

Do you remember when the wedding presents used to last longer than the marriage itself and the toys were passed down to the younger siblings?

That does not happen anymore.
Today, everything breaks, is worn down or damaged within a short time.  Things are poorly made so that we have to buy a replacement.

It’s not because industry today is less capable of making things well.  On the contrary;  if they wanted to, they could build everything so that it lasted for decades.  But it’s their choice not to; it would be bad business.

A very unethical “market law” guides the manufacturing of products today, in particular a generalized practice in the global production system called Programmed Obsolescence which says that if the products last less, they will be replaced more frequently and thus the companies will sell more and profit more.
This Machiavellianproduction strategy had its origin nearly a century ago at a meeting of Philips, Osram, General Electric and other lamp manufacturers.

Inspired by JP Morgan, this group had a bright idea with a dark underside:  To reduce the useful life of all the light bulbs, which at that time could work for many months or even years. And so, towards the end of 1924, all the manufacturers instructed their engineers to shorten the life span of the product to a maximum of 40 days of use.

Thus was born the new business formula in which products would be consistently designed to fail after a predetermined period of time.

We cannot deny that this is an intelligent idea for the bottom line of the industrialists but the benefit of a few has turned out to be a major detractor to the health of the planet and all its inhabitants.

Today, as a result of this idea…many more resources are used and much more trash is generated. We are not referring to a bit more, but over tenfold more.

It makes no difference that quality is lost, your pockets lose money and the planet misspends its resources and is inundated by trash. Business is business is the hymn.

More than 90 years have gone by since we fell into the trap of buy, use for a while, throw it away and buy again.
The exaggerated consumerism or what I prefer to call “trashmerism” does not depict a good future. There isn’t an environmental planet and a separate business planet. There is only a single world, one in which the only future possible requires sustainability, re-usage, recycling and the optimization of resources.

The consumers of the 21st Century have access to information, organization capability and can demand a change.  After all, we as consumers control the demand and the demand controls the supply.
An example:  The original iPod had a battery that lasted only 18 months and Apple didn’t offer a replacement.  A consumer group filed a collective demand against the company and as a result,  Apple was forced to increase the useful life of the batteries in addition to selling replacements.

If as consumers we become more vigilant and demanding of quality in the products we are offered, we will see changes.

Buying cheap, disposable products is a very bad investment if we consider that we will have to make the same purchase over and over again.  In 5 years we will have spent more than if we had purchased a quality product from the beginning.

Therefore, please use your head when making purchases. In the long run, your pocket and the planet will be grateful.


- With plastic waste is produced an ultra-resistant and enduring material that simulates wood. Its uses are multiple. In addition to replacing the use of wood and allow the conversion of wasted plastics, this material lasts for decades and requires no maintenance, making it a money-saver in the long term.

- Printers come from the factory with a counter of the number of prints made, which blocks the printer once it reaches a certain number of prints. They stop working not because they are broken but simply because they have been programmed this way so that you discard them and go to the store to buy a new one.  Source: Documentary  “Programmed Obsolescence”

-Recycling glass instead of making it from silica sand reduces mining waste by 70 percent, water use by 50 percent, and air pollution by 20 percent  Source: Environmental Defense Fund.

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