Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 83–87 | Cite as

The Throwaway Society: a Look in the Back Mirror

  • Kai-Uwe HellmannEmail author
  • Marius K. Luedicke
Brief Communication


Whilst public criticisms of an increasingly wasteful consumer society emerged already in late nineteenth Century, the specific concept of a “Throwaway Society” was first used in the early 1960s. This short communication sketches the passionate debate around planned obsolescence and oversaturated consumers and offers a short historical glimpse at a persistent, existential problem that still awaits effective solutions.


Affluence Planned obsolescence Throwaway culture Throwaway society Waste Consumer culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for SociologyTU BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Cass Business School, City, University of LondonLondonUK

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