Disposable products increasing on the market

Speaking of the unnecessary waste generated from products, have you noticed the increase in the number of disposable products on store shelves?

Even though some companies are working towards more environmentally friendly products, it seems like other companies are working towards figuring out how to make their products more disposable (and make more money at the same time).

My optometrist encourages buying disposable contacts (not to mention all the solutions that go along with it) rather than long-term wear ones. She says they’re healthier for your eye.

My dentist told me I wasn’t brushing well enough in awkward spots at the back of my mouth so he told me to get a rechargeable toothbrush that is the only one on the market with a small head. The replacement heads are far more expensive than a regular toothbrush.

There’s also a shaver that has replaceable cleaner cartridges that help to clean the shaver as it’s recharging.

And there are also the Swifer cleaning products, with tissues that you dispose of after you sweep the floor.

All these products generate a lot more waste, with both the packaging and product, not to mention the increase in manufacturing demands (energy consumption, waste, chemicals, etc.).

However, it’s also more costly to the consumer.

They require the consumer to fall into a purchasing program to constantly replace their products on a regular basis. It’s almost like creating a kind of dependency.

Gone are the days when products lasted for years and years.

One option is to avoid these products altogether, and to purchase old-fashioned alternatives, such as a regular broom or mop.

Another option is to extend the life of a disposable product if you have to buy one. Use it less regularly. Or use the replaceable parts less frequently, such as a cleaning cartridge once a week or month instead of every day.

Even healthier for your eyes (and your wallet) is to invest in a pair of stylish glasses and leaving the contacts for occassional use. That way, you don't  have to spend as much  money on costly solutions or contacts.  

Some new products may be marketed as more hygienic. That may be true, though if you think about the fact that the amount of plastic waste that is entering our food chain (as outlined in the documentary Addicted to Plastic, which played at last year’s Vancouver International Film Festival), it all eventually comes back to us in the long run.

There’s a huge mass of plastic that is accumulating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s being eaten by smaller sea creatures, which in turn are eaten by fish, which we then eat.

Even if you think, well throwing away disposable contacts isn’t too bad since they’re small, the smaller and thinner items are often easier for wildlife to ingest, either intentionally or accidentally.

In the short term, disposable products may have some benefits, but it may be better for both your bank account and your own general well-being to avoid the disposables and go for the long lasting.

Does anyone have any suggestions or strategies? Post them below if you do.




Jan 19, 2009 at 3:25pm

I hate swiffers with every last fibre of my being. What's wrong with a mop anyways? It's not that much more difficult and you save tons of money.

I'm also quite upset with the massive proliferation of wipes. It's as if people forgot that you can put a cloth in the washing machine. Either that, or they're terrified of the "germs" that might be left behind... If only people realised that those antibacterial products killed all the weak germs and leave the stronger ones behind to fight another day without competition.. Oh, and children that live in houses with "dirty" dogs live longer.. I wonder why that is? Stronger immune systems due to bacteria exposure maybe??

/ end rant..

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