The origin of our “Throw-away Society”

Plastic was invented somewhere before 1900s. The mass production of plastic began in the 1940s and 1950s around World War II. Then, after the war, plastic output was targeted at post-war consumers. In no time, plastics started to permeate almost every corner of the consumer life. Disposable items were also massively introduced and applied to consumer products. They were made intentionally for people to throw away and they were quickly embraced by consumers as a symbol of our fantastic modern living. Our throw-away society had taken its form from right there as the byproduct of modernity.

Do you know that in 1955 Life Magazine published an article that chanted the “throw-away living” as family no longer had to worry about housework thanks to disposable items. Should we in 21st century still throw away our stuff in the same manner as in 1900s?

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Photo credit: “Throw-away living”, Life Magazine, 1955

Do you know that when nylon stockings were first introduced by Dupont in 1940, they were so strong that they could be used to tow cars? However, Dupont had to decrease their quality because apparently they were not going to sell many with such a good quality product. How long do your stockings last nowadays?

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Nylon stockings used to tow cars:screenshot for the documentary “The Lightbulb Conspiracy”

Another fun fact is that the hula hoop that we play while we were kids was also invented around the same period.

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1958 Photo: girl playing hula hoop by George Garrigues

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