Recently, I purchased a headset. I did not want to have to address other family members every time I wanted to call somebody on skype and buying a headset was the easiest option available. So, I went to a local electronic shop and purchased the cheapest headset available.
At home, while unpacking the thing, I got to realize something.
Previously, I had found out the 2 causes of trash; the 2 purposes, trash is produced for; transportation and information. Trash, in this context, means material that is produced, predestinate to become trash one day.
The majority of trash is for transportation; packages, plastic bags, disposable boxes, flexible packaging and so on; most of the time, this trash is some kind of plastic, something is wrapped in, put in, shrink- wrapped in or convoluted it. The other purpose, information is not as frequent, but still remarkable. This items of trash include magazines, bank statements, receipts, advertisement papers, instructions and newspapers; mostly paper, that is printed with information, mostly ones, that do not have a very long time- span, to inform or persuade people.
The same with the headset packaging; there was a packaging, made out of transparent plastic to transport the headset from the production facility to the shop to the cash desk the the person at home. And there was a small instructions paper for the headset, a small book written in at least 10 language, providing information. Well, but there was other plastic as well. Additionally to the packaging there was a pice of plastic at the back of the packaging to hold the headset in position and another one at the front to position the headset cable. This, I found, was a third purpose of trash; to show off. This pieces of plastic had no other purpose that to display the headset itself, the trash for information (the instructions) in the transportation trash (the plastic packaging) nicely, to make it not move around, when the packaging is picked up and therefore, to make it more attractive for possible customers.
Out of interest,I made a little weight experiment; the headset itself weights 80 grams, the plastic that came with it 54 grams and the paper that came with it 35 grams. So, the trash that was prouduced for the headset, purposed to become trash within moments, weights 89 grams, while the actual product has a weight of 80 gram, the trash actually outweighs the product.
Isn't that insane?
Even more, it is not the case that the producer pays the trash, but the price includes the price of the plastic, paper as well as the production costs for this trash. So, in reality, I bought 3 pieces of paper, 5 pieces of plastic and a headset. If we go further with this train of thought, not only am I purchasing the trash, but also its disposal. The producer will not pay the costs of waste recycling, I will pay this costs when the headset trash is put on the top of my garbage pile. When the trash then is thrown into nature, what will statistically happen to 70% of the trash. (source) So in my case, maybe 4 pieces of plastic and 2 pieces of paper, ends up on landfills, where it will poison nearby nature and soil. Statistically, a good amount of trash might also end up in the ocean to join the other million companions of trash in the great pacific garbage patch, maybe this will happen the the 5th piece of plastic, I purchased.
Well, eventually in the waste chain, there comes a point in time when not me, not nature, but everyone has to pay the price for my waste, that is, when soil, water and air is polluted, animals and plants are dying and territories become uninhabitable.
Because I wanted a headset.