Model IELTS essay: “What are some of the negative effects of growing international consumerism?”

Most would argue that growing consumerism has increased the health and stability of the global economy. In your opinion, what are some of the negative effects of growing international consumerism?

Consumerism and the adoption of market-driven economic models are phenomena that are changing the world quickly. This trend has accelerated as global income levels have increased allowing people to buy things they could not previously afford. However, increased consumerism is taxing to the planet and ramifies itself negatively in several ways. Environmental pollution and resource depletion are two main consequences of increased consumerism, and their effects will be analyzed in this essay.

For one, growing demand for consumer products is needlessly resulting in increased environmental pollution. As an example, many plastic products are difficult to recycle and use chemicals in the manufacturing process that negate their ability to biodegrade. With growing consumerism, the amount of such waste is swelling to dangerous levels. Thus, the link between consumerism and rising levels of environmental damage can be seen.

In addition to this, the assembly of consumer products often requires the use of resources that are non-renewable and perhaps even conflict producing. For example, the production process for many plastics requires petroleum, while cell phones require rare earth metals such as gold. Because such resources exist only in finite amounts, control over them can lead to conflict. Thus, it is clear that consumerism can act as a precursor to resource shortages and damaged international relationships.

As has been shown, consumerism is a growing global trend that is having a significant impact upon the world. Among the more negative effects, demand for goods encourages greater pollution while also contributing to resource depletion and poor international relations between countries. It is therefore important for people to take responsibility and make ethical decisions when purchasing.

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