Question: “Explore the Claim That a Consumer Society Is Always a ‘Throw Away’ Society.”

In order to answer the question set, it is important to initially look at what consumption is, how is manifests itself in a modern society and how that is then responsible for the increase of waste. The assignment will consider what waste is and how it is produced. It will then progress on to look at the amount of waste produced per capita terms and how this has changed since 1950. The author will define “throw away” in order to explore the claim that a consumer society is always a ‘throw away’ society. The assignment will make a claim that becoming a throw away society is a natural development to enable it too become an affluent one however recent developments in waste management means that it is often a throw away society and not always one. It will then conclude and summarise all points made.

During the last thirty years, the dominance of consumption over production has changed society to one where importance is placed on what we consume, rather than where we work or what skills we might have. Consumer behaviour has changed from purchasing the necessities to more of a relationship the consumer, the product or service and the lifestyle it represents. According to Hetherington, 2009 (pg37) these changes can be identified as far back as the late 19th century at a time where department stores began opening across Europe. This exciting new time offered people an array of choice all under one roof thus offering a safe and secure shopping experience.   As production of products and services increases the type   which have only recently become readily available. It has manifested itself into ensuring both shopping and consumption have become important in social life. As competition increases to become a market leader these shops now offer plenty of choice at prices that many households can afford.

A significant factor in the rise of consumption is affluence, according to Brown (2009, p. 108) there has been a rising prosperel of prosperity not being sustainable for...