Ethics in Planned Obsolescence

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Introduction In business actions always arise a lot of ethical questions. The main goal of all companies is to earn profit but it is not always in perfect harmony with the ethical codes of the society. People tend to observe ethical behavior of companies more than they used to few years ago. A big issue concerning consumers is the life-time (durability) of a purchased product. There are many rumors among consumers telling that in certain industries the producers are using planned obsolescence to reduce the life-time of a product to a certain period of time. By reducing the life-time of product the manufacturers “force” people to buy new product that the manufacturer brings to the market as the replacement for the old product. The purpose of this research paper is to evaluate all aspects like ethical issues, environmental affects, laws and regulations considering planned obsolescence. The question is whether using this business technique is ethically acceptable or the company that uses planned obsolescence to make higher profit should be punished. Types of planned obsolescence In a marketplace there are more types of planned obsolescence that are used in order to devalue the old product. All types of obsolescence have major task of enhancing sales and increase the company’s profit. The main idea of all obsolescence is the same, to make the old product ineffectual, unfashionable or useless. Technical or functional obsolescence is a common method when a producer on purpose uses low-class materials that are prone to become damaged. The cost of repair work is usually comparable to the replacement cost and that force consumers to buy a new product or spare part. An applicable example is LCD screen where are heat-sensitive components... ... middle of paper ... ... EESC proposes a system of labeling, which should guarantee a minimum product lifespan. It is not a legal obligation yet, but maybe in a few years it would be normal in each state of EU. Mr. Haber also states “Furthermore, manufacturers should also cover the cost of recycling if their goods have an expected lifetime of less than five years” (EESC, 2013). This is a great idea how to motivate manufacturers to produce more durable products or if not so at least pay the cost of recycling in order to protect the environment. To sum up there are still not any laws regulating the production of goods with planned obsolescence, even though European Economic and Social Committee adopts measures against it. Works Cited http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.press-releases.29603 http://search.proquest.com.proxy.cityu.edu/docview/198170190/8AD083B8560E4CDCPQ/1?accountid=1230

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