Impacts of Consumerism

Pollution and resources depletion

Due to the demands of goods increasing, the needs to produce these goods also increased which led to more pollutant emissions, increased land-sue and deforestation and accelerated climate changes. Human is now experiencing devastating process on the planets water suppliers, as more and more water stores are used up or diverted as a part of intensive farming procedures. Waste disposal become a huge global issue and the ocean are slowly but surely will become a giant and huge waste disposal pit with the estimated that over half of the plastic produced every year is single use which mean that it is used once and then either thrown into landfill or any ways into the environment. According to the scientists, up to 12 million tons of plastic enters the ocean every year, forming giant floating garbage patches all over the world (Negative Effects of Consumerism, 2020). There are more than 150 million metric tons of plastic in form of bottles, cups, straws, bags, utensils, and various types of packaging are produced each year. Discarded all those plastics are slow in process which scientists estimated that it can take 500 years or longer for plastic to completely decompose even in optimal conditions (Falde, 2018).


A series of shocking figures reflected on the huge negative impacts caused by consumerism.

Society Culture been distorted

Increasing consumerism tends to distract society from important values ​​such as integrity. Instead, the emphasis is  on materialism and competition. People tend to buy goods and services  that they don't need, so they are at the same or higher level than anyone else. Besides, a behaviour or act that been “influencing” to use future money also caused personal financial issues with the increasing social debt. The number of people taking short-term loans such as payday loans to buy luxury goods is increasing rapidly. Today, many short-term loans are not used constructively. With this, it also leads to mental health issues such as stress and depression. Attempting to follow the latest trends when resources are limited  can be very stressful to the mind and body. Consumerism forces people to work harder, borrow more, and spend less time with their loved ones. Consumerism is a hindrance to fruitful relationships. It has a negative impact on people's overall well-being, as studies have shown that people do not receive a valuable and lasting sense of fulfilment from materialism (Scott, 2017).


Personal Health: Obesity

According to the research that shown a close link between the rise of the modern culture of consumerism and the worrying rates of obesity we are seeing around the world. Since that consumerism implies exactly that using as much as we can, rather than as much as we need. This caused a domino effect of issues on society. With the over-consuming leads to obesity which then lead to further cultural and social problems. For instance, medical services are stretched further as the worldwide obesity rates rise. In United States, each capital medical expenses are calculated to be around US$2500 more for obese people than for people of healthy weight (The Negative Effects of Consumerism, 2016). The food industry creates “hyperpalatable” foods with high sugar, high fat and salty foods that makes people crave more of the same and uses manipulative marketing practice to sway customers, said Cargill, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Washington. Noting that Starbucks UK’s claim that it offers 87000 possible rink combinations, the professor, Cargill argued that personalization, convenience, and misleading nutritional claims are among the powerful techniques which the food industry uses to prompt consumer to pack it in more (Bach-U, 2015). 


Global Inequality

The biggest issue that caused consumerism to become worst and worst is that people do not realize this behavior is a problem which the modern society of consumerism and rampant development is destroying our world. People are consuming resources at an alarming rate and quicker than our planet which able to replenish. There are numbers of negative effects caused by our contemporary consumerist society that consumerism affect the quality of life on our planet. With this, global inequality happened. A great amount of rising in resource consumption in wealthier countries has led to an ever-widening gap between the rich and poor which as the age old saying goes, “rich get richer and poor get poorer.” According to the researched data, in 2005, about 59% of world resources were consumed by the wealthiest ten percent of population. Conversely, the poorest ten percent accounted for just 0.5% of resource utilization. Focused on this, we could observe at the trends in spending, and these money could be better used. It has been estimated that just US$6 billion would provide basic education worldwide while another US$22 billion would give every person on the planet access to clean water, basic health services and sufficient nutrition. Based on some area of spending, there will be showing how serious problem caused by our society. It is an estimated that every year, Europeans spend US$11 billion on ice-cream. This is nearly to bring education to every child on the planet, which is twice. Moreover, about US$50 billion is spent on cigarettes in Europe alone, and US$400 billion is spent on narcotic drugs around the world (Negative Effects of Consumerism, 2020).