Essay on Australians Are Wasteful Consumers

Submitted By Hien-Nguyen Ngoc
Words: 1613
Pages: 7

Australia becomes wealthier and more developed in the past few decades. The Australians’ standard of living has also improved, so they pay more attention to meet their needs. However, according to a national report, Australians consume waste over 10.5 billion dollars every year on goods and services that they never or rarely used. Therefore, this essay will argue that Australians are wasteful consumers with a particular focus on the extent of wasteful consumption and Australians’ attitudes towards waste.
One of the main reasons why Australians are regarded to be wasteful consumers is that Australian consumption on the unnecessary items will raise waste. Majority of Australians send too much money on shopping and buy the things more than they need; as a result, causing to waste. For example, researchers estimate that each family spends large amounts of money about $ 1226 on unnecessary items in 2004 and every Australian has thrown away 361 kg of food annual. In 2003, the value of wasted food and drink accounted for more than 13 times higher than what the Australian households gave to overseas aid agencies. Moreover, young people consume waste more than older people, higher income households more than those on lower incomes. This suggests that Australian consumers should check to see what they already have and set up shopping lists before shopping.
Another reason why Australians are considered as wasteful consumers is that many Australians do not have the proper attitude to overconsumption. When Australians play ducks and drakes with their money on unwanted things, many of them feel guilty about overconsumption; however, 40% people do not feel guilty about it and the remaining people have indifference attitude to it. For instance, according to an Australian study, the percentage of those who feel guilty about wasteful consumption increases gradually with age. Young people between the ages of 18 and 34 are less likely to feel guilty about wasteful consumption compare with those over 65. For this reason, Australian government needs to inform people about the negative impact of wasteful consumption affected the environment.
In conclusion, Australians can be regarded as wasteful consumers because of their consumption leading to increase waste as well as their attitudes towards overconsumption. If Australians still continue wasteful consumption, the environment will be seriously affected by their wastes released. Therefore, Australian government needs to not only educate the public spend more savings in order to reduce waste but also raise awareness of people, especially young and prosperous people about the harmful effects of wasteful consumption.


Over-consumption is when people consume more than they need. Many people in wealthy countries, for example, buy new clothing and entertainment products every year. The old products, along with the packaging for the new products, are then thrown away, ending up in landfills. In less wealthy countries, over-consumption is not as much of a problem because people cannot always afford new things.

Another example of over-consumption can be seen with food. Many people buy food that they do not eat. Either the food sits in the refrigerator for too long and spoils or the people who bought it simply decide they do not want to eat it. In Australia, 3.3 million tonnes of food are thrown away every year. Since many biodegradable objects do not break down easily in landfills, this food sits in landfills for a long time.

See Image five - Australians throw away millions of tonnes of food every year.

Australia generates more waste than many other countries. Every day, each Australian generates about 2.25 kilograms of waste. This makes Australia one of the largest producers of garbage per capita (per person). Over-consumption in Australia needs to be controlled in order to reduce the amount of waste we produce.
Australians go shopping for the thrill of the purchase rather than the