Are We Throwing America Away?

| 3/3/2010 11:53:41 AM

Tags: Disposable products, disposability, waste,


In the 1970s and 1980s, disposable products were a hot topic among those who were trying to green America. It seems to me that no one talks about disposability anymore.

And what is more, disposable products are invading the marketplace. Now I know the sharks that patrol my blogs, ready to jump on me for my alleged socialist leanings will smell blood in the water and no doubt remind me that all those disposable products make jobs, but hear me out first. There’s something bigger than creating jobs through waste. It’s called creating an environmentally and economically sustainable society. We can have jobs and the environment. It’s not a trade off ... but we have to create jobs that make sense in the long-term from all three perspectives: social, economic and environmental.

Okay, now for the topic of today’s blog.

In the 1970s, disposability was in an infant stage. Our options were few. We had disposable pens and disposable diapers ... and of course there were disposable batteries ... and maybe a few more items. Today, disposables are flooding the market — creating jobs, no doubt, but also foreclosing on our future, gobbling up energy and resources that are finite.

Disposable diapers are as popular today as ever, maybe more so. And I’m not just talking disposable diapers for infants and toddlers. Adult disposable now take up a sizeable amount of shelf space. Are there really that many incontinent men and women in America?

Better When Bio Man
2/22/2011 1:45:04 PM

I totally agree about the strain that disposables place on our environment and that recyclable products are probably a better approach. But the reality is that there is a place for disposables and they are here to stay. I think the key here is the type of disposables that are used. Traditional plastic products are petroleum-based and take hundreds of years to decompose. I believe a better alternative is to use biodegradable disposable products. Biodegradable products are typically made from plant-based materials which are renewable resources and are compostable. While it is commendable to push to ban or reduce the use of disposables I think the better campaign is to push for the use or requirement that disposables be biodegradable. To learn more about the benefits of biodegradable disposable products go to:

3/6/2010 8:08:49 PM

I am so anti-disposable my family pokes fun at me. It drives me nuts that everything is use once and toss it. I use cloth diapers, cloth napkins, there's rarely paper towels around, toilet paper is about the only paper product you'll find here. The amount of packaging that I bring home from the grocery store drives me crazy! I try to reduce the amount of waste as much as possible. Everyone is on the "green" buzzword and tow of the biggest problems I see with society is everything is disposable and no one ever mentions the word sustainable. I'm glad to see this post and that I am not alone in my issue with disposability in our society.

Paul Andrew Anderson_5
3/3/2010 4:44:37 PM

It's a mentality! As long as we continue to look at Earth as raw material to convert into dollar increments, expect the degradation to escalate at alarming rates. Capitalism and consumerism are in direct conflict with sustainability!

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