V. Ryan 2012


11. It is often said that we live in a ‘throw away Society. With reference to a specific product, explain this term.
Some products have been manufactured in such a way, that they can only be thrown away, when they reach the end of their useful life. A good example is the humble LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene carrier bag. When used, it can tear and its useful life is over, sometimes after being used only once. Usually these bags are just thrown away, rather than being recycled. They are so thin and weigh so little, that it is not worth the energy or cost of collecting carrier bags and recycling them.
Some products are thrown away when new technology is introduced. A good example was the change from personal CD players to MP3 players. This change rendered CD players out of date almost overnight. Most personal CD players were simply thrown away and replaced with the up to date technology.
12. Some products have a life cycle designed into them. Why is this the case?
Some products are designed to last a specific length of time or number of uses. A good example is an ink cartridge. A specific volume of ink fits in a typical ink cartridge. Consequently, it will eventually run out, depending on the type of printing by the user. The aim of ink, printer and cartridge manufacturers is for their cartridge design to contain as much ink as possible and for it to be dispensed as efficiently as possible. However, the ink will eventually run out and manufacturers can forecast this accurately. Cartridge manufacturers allow their cartridges to be refilled with ink.

In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, it was claimed that some products such as washing machines, were manufactured in such as away and with specific materials, that they would only last a number of years. Eventually they would fail, even after regular maintenance. This is called ‘planned obsolescence’.

Other products such as fashionable clothes, can be said to have a planned life cycle. As fashions change, customers often replace their clothes to suit trends, rather than wait for their clothes to wear out.

Other products are replaced when newer, more advanced, updated versions become available. A good example of this is seen in the computer world. People often replace their computer when a newer more powerful version becomes available, rather than using their existing computer until it finally fails.
13. The card charity collection box has been designed with a specific life cycle in mind. Describe want you consider to be its life cycle.
The collection box has been designed to be sent through the post, and then to be assembled by the recipient (folded to form the box).

It will then be used for no more than a week, to collect coins for charity. The box has been designed to be strong enough for its purpose.

After the collection is over, the box can be easily dismantled and the money removed.

The card box can then be placed in a recycling bin, ready for collection.

The life cycle of the collection box is limited to one or two weeks.