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  • Aaryan Doshi

Consequences of rampant consumption


Consequences of rampant consumption image: adobe firefly

The poor manufacture commodities that the wealthy purchase. This single sentence aptly encapsulates the inequalities arising from consumer product usage


To maximize profits, factories are often located in countries with low wages or in areas inhabited by marginalized peoples, two examples of the world's most destitute places. Workers' rights are unprotected, and cheap healthcare is hard to find in these countries. This makes the workers susceptible to exploitation in the form of harassment and discrimination. It also exposes them to brutal working conditions, resulting in poor health.  


Fast fashion, electronics, and food production are just a few examples of consumer businesses with worldwide supply networks most affected by this issue. Whenever workers' rights are violated, and economic unfairness persists due to labor exploitation, concerns about social justice arise. 


We generate a tremendous amount of waste and pollution as a result of how we handle products when they are no longer needed, which is one of the most serious consequences of our overconsumption of goods.  


Our plastic blog series has already investigated the contribution of disposable plastic items (such as packaging material designed to enhance the shopping experience) to this garbage accumulation.  


We frequently upgrade electronic gadgets to newer models before their usefulness has run its course. The resulting e-waste pollutes both land and water. It damages delicate ecosystems, reduces biodiversity, and harms marine life. E-waste decay also causes respiratory problems in both humans and marine life.  


Guangdong province in China is a prime example because it is home to one of the world's largest e-waste dumping sites. Guangdong has lax regulation of e-waste treatment. E-waste is often treated unsafely, resulting in hazardous substance discharge into the air, soil, and water. The resulting outcome is immense harm to ecosystems and human health.


References:

Consumption and Consumerism. (2014, January 5). https://www.globalissues.org/issue/235/consumption-and-consumerism


A Deep Dive into the Labor Exploitation Behind Everyday Products. (2022, September 28). DOL Blog. https://blog.dol.gov/2022/09/28/a-deep-dive-into-the-labor-exploitation-behind-everyday-products


Electronic waste in Guiyu. (2024, March 2). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_waste_in_Guiyu


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