Cheap Chinese Rubbish: Is It Time To Get Tough On Bad Products?

So a little background on why I've written this blog post: My daughter's bedroom had been without a lightbulb for about six weeks, and when even your three year old begins to nag you about a lack of a light source, its probably time to sort it out. So anyway, after realising that lightbulbs in supermarkets these days are exorbitantly expensive, I quickly checked Amazon (as you do) and found that for just over twice the price of a supermarket standard bulb my daughter could have a colour changing one with an inbuilt bluetooth speaker. Bargain!

Or was it?

As you might expect by the title of this post, the quality was not the best. Within ten minutes the thing was broken and I was stuck with a disappointed child and a lump of plastic which will no doubt soon be heading off to a landfill site. And this is my point. So much emphasis is being put on recycling these days, but very little is done to upset the dark side of consumerism that leads to so much waste in the first place.

I'm not detracting away from the the calls for greater recycling infrastructure - but I find it very strange that there isn't more moral outrage towards merchants selling goods which have had no quality checks at all. Chinese factories certainly seem to have poor quality control anyway. In all seriousness, I think manufacturers and the big importers (like Amazon) should be forced to offer long-term warranties on all their products with an added risk of heavy fines for products which fail to live up to consumer's expectations. I hate to think just how much raw material gets wasted each year by the cheap shit sold online these days that breaks within six months.

Whilst we're on the subject of waste, I'll also point out that something ought to be done about the likes of mobile phone manufacturers who release new models every five minutes and deliberately create compatibility issues in order to drive further sales. I've got a Samsung Note 3 which I brought back in 2013 that still works flawlessly today and is still used as a planner around the home, but I was sodomised by Samsung's abusive selling strategies and cajaoled into purchasing a newer Samsung S7. Why? Because I brought a Samsung camera which I soon realised withheld ninety percent of its features unless I had a newer phone to connect it up to. Tossers!

If I had it my way that sort of aggressive planned obsolescence would be against environmental legislation. Unfortunately these massive corporations like Amazon, Samsung or Apple etc, have too many friends in high places for this kind of law to be implemented.

And why can't stuff be upgradable anyway? It wouldn't be too much of a push to make a modular phone or laptop that you could buy plug and play replacement parts for. Innovation like that should be incentivised. With a bit of luck, the rise of 3D printing might make replacement parts more accessible, but I guess only if there is a conscious push by the public to do so.

Obviously there will be the consumer activists out there who will moan and say that doing anything like what I've just suggested would only cause an increase in prices. Well good, that's kind of the point! And yeah, that might seem a bit hypocritical given that I began this post complaining about prices but in truth I think that everything 'cheap' in today's society becomes a false economy. As an example, I found tools in my shed when we brought our house left over from the previous owner which were probably made in the 1970s, made by British factories and still perfectly usable. Were I to buy their Chinese equivalents today I'd be lucky to get a few years of use out of them before handles started falling off.

Prices going up wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing anyway so long as quality and lifetime increased, which should reduce wastage. In addition to that though, an increase in lifespan and prices would also drive second hand sales which theoretically (at least by my likely flawed logic) would reduce manufacturing demand even more. In my eyes that seems a much more efficient way of reducing waste than solely pushing for better recycling.

Of course half these issues wouldn't exist if globalist arseholes hadn't pushed to de-industrialise the West and move the global manufacturing base to China where products produced are of an inferior quality and factories haven't (or at least never used to have) any qualms about the environmental impact of their industry.

Obviously this is all a pipe-dream though. For the changes I've suggested to be implemented we'd need worldwide cooperation that went against the interests of the already rich and powerful. A genuine concern of mine is that for our grandkids living in some future dystopia, a career prospecting landfills for the valuable resources we today take for granted might well become a harsh reality.


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