Pyramids of Waste

Pyramids of Waste tells the untold story of Planned Obsolescence (the deliberate shortening of product life spans by manufacturers to guarantee consumer demand. The light bulb conspiracy is a theory that the leading manufacturers of incandescent light bulbs have conspired to keep the lifetime of their bulbs far below their real technological capabilities. This way, they ensure the continuous demand for more bulbs and hence, long-term profit for themselves.

Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of deliberately planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete or nonfunctional after a certain period. Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because to obtain continuing use of the product the consumer is under pressure to purchase again, whether from the same manufacturer (a replacement part or a newer model), or from a competitor which might also rely on planned obsolescence.

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10 Responses to "Pyramids of Waste"

  1. Pingback: Pyramids of Waste | True Activist « METHINKS SHE DOTH PROTEST

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  3. Sepp Fischer  March 27, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Why do you think new technology is always hyper expensive?
    Forget RD-costs – companies just cannot control obsolescence. If the equipment goes beyond warranty (weak and expensive moment for the producer/seller) it normally runs forever! Only from the point on, a manufacturer is able to control exactly the point of obsolescence, which is a fine line between revenue maximization and customer loyalty, the goods prices drops for the vast market.
    But sticking with light bulbs, can actually anybody confirm that expensive energy saving bulbs really do last up to 8 times longer than the old incandescent ones? At least I’ve been changing new energy saver more frequently than the “Edison Lamps” – that’s were the real big money is!

  4. ninjaholik  December 4, 2012 at 11:20 am

    They say these bulbs save energy and cut costs but realistically they cause (including manufacture) more damage than good.

  5. Soop  December 4, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Like in the case of expensive German cars that constantly have to go to the shop for something. And they are designed so that you can only use their parts. Maybe we can have a law about this.

  6. Mark  December 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

    10 years ago, I bought a couple of expensive pairs of Gap jeans, wore them every day and they lasted a good 1-2 years, before the knees wore through…I then switched to cheaper jeans from Next, which were half the price…they barely lasted a few months before the knees went (an in one case, 2 weeks!)

    I tried to take the latter pair back to the shop, and there was a lady in front of me in the queue, complaining about her son’s jeans wearing out too soon…the shop told her that they are designed to wear out quickly “in order to achieve a tatty look” (for the sake of fashion!). It doesn’t say that on the label though!

    I heard this and didn’t even attempt to return mine, or exchange them…instead, I switched back to Gap jeans, and over a year later, I haven’t had any of them wear out :)

    It’s a false economy to switch to cheaper items, as you end up replacing them more often. I found the same thing with Calvin Klein boxer shorts…I’m not a huge designer-labels fan, but I do stick with quality where it counts…not only are they the most comfortable I’ve ever come across, but they last a good 10 years, whereas cheaper pairs used to wear out far quicker.

    I believe that the same is true of modern appliances…they use cheaper, lower-quality plastics and metals – in order to drive costs down – which also renders the products with a shorter shelf-life. My Nan used to have televisions and ovens which lasted for over 20 years…nowadays, we’re lucky if they last 2-5 years

  7. Deejay  February 21, 2013 at 8:31 am

    The longest burning incandescent light bulb has been on continuously since 1901, that’s over 110 years!

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  9. Unge Amundsen  June 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Capitalism in a nut-shell..


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