Elena Echarri Myers

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2020


Home, Waste, Residential Waste Management, Consumption, Plastics, Recycle






Ever since the emergence of capitalism, followed by trends of conspicuous consumption and the boom of plastics and preservative packaging, household waste production has become an issue of public concern in which the US has achieved to champion the podium. Ever since the 1800's world shift from a society focused on consumption for basic necessities to one directed mostly by consumption by leisure, individuals have lost their ability for consumer control, shopping mostly for pleasure and for items with unprecedented short lifespans whose final destination is the land­fill. The world's economic system change too, feeding off these impulsive consumer behaviors, unnecessarily altered the consumption cycle of necessity items. Up until the emergence of world- scale commerce, the cycle of consumption of necessity goods (food, mostly) remained relatively close to the home. Different localities would produce food and essential items within their own locals, creating small centers of local commerce, very rarely extending beyond national borders. The appearance of mass-production of goods resulted on the extinction of this local commerce system and the appearance of a new one, where it became "easier, cheaper and better" to produce necessity goods elsewhere, to then be shipped world-wide. Exportation distances today, even for the most basic items, have increased exuberantly, translating in enumerable packaging and waste bi-products, all of which end up being thrown out from the comfort of our homes

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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