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THE HERALD FRIDAY AUGUST 19 2016


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15 News Welsh residents throw away £29,000 in their lifetime WELSH residents throw away


over £29,000 worth of broken or unwanted household items in their lifetime, according to new research. And skimping on quality is costing


us a small fortune, with the average Welsh respondent chucking out almost £490 worth of household items every year. This figure was £210 less than the national average and ranked Wales as the most money conscious within the UK.


From toasters to TVs, microwaves


to mobile phones, the survey of 2,000 UK adults shows two thirds of modern purchases are simply not ‘built to last’. Of those polled, seven in 10 said


items made 20 years ago last longer than products made today. Andrew Halsall, Managing


Director of British manufacturer, Origin, who commissioned the survey, said: “We live in a throwaway culture and are regularly bombarded with offers that can seem too tempting to pass up, but as the survey shows, buying cheap and cheerful isn’t always best.


“It is also increasingly rare to find


products that will stand the test of time and the expectations of product lifespans are dropping. The research also revealed the huge amount that we each spend replacing broken possessions and homewares, a figure that can be reduced dramatically if we choose high quality products with a


longer manufacturer’s guarantee.” Results showed we expect our cars


to have the longest life span of our purchases, coming in at an average of 11 years before a replacement is required.


Putting in less impressive times


are the burnt-out electric toothbrushes (four years), mobile phones (fifth years) and kettles (six years) heading for early retirement on the scrapheap. Fridges, freezers and ovens are


expected to last 10 years apiece, while the dishwasher puts in a respectable eight years before calling it a day. The average home stereo is


expected to pack in after a decade of use, while the springs start to come through our mattresses after nine years. Home improvements are expected


to last much longer, with a new kitchen or bathroom expected to last up to 13 years. We anticipate having to replace windows and doors in the home after less than 16 years, while UK residents would look to replace wooden flooring and carpets after 12 years. Fashion is throwaway for most


young Brits; only 34% are willing to spend more money on higher-quality apparel.


When asked to estimate the


value of the clothes they throw away annually, the average Welsh resident reckons they chuck almost £68 worth of garments each year. 47% would describe themselves as


‘ruthless’ when it comes to chucking their belongings, with old clothes most likely to make the heap. The bin man will also collect


£80 worth of furniture, £77 worth of electricals and £73 worth of home appliances from each Brit per year. Almost half of Brits throw things


away to clear space in their home, while a quarter fall out of love with their belongings as current styles change. One in seven get genuinely


stressed out by their stuff and need to clean house regularly while an absent- minded 5% confess to throwing their things away without really thinking about it. When it comes to a high-quality


build, 70% of 18 to 35s think home appliances need to meet the gold standard, while 78% of over 55s like their white goods to last. The 1,000 over 55s who were


surveyed care more about build quality than younger generations but are less confident about fixing broken appliances and items themselves, with only 35% willing to get stuck in with home maintenance. Andrew Halsall continued: “It was


encouraging to see that products made in Britain are regarded as much better quality, with 40% of people tending to choose items made here in the UK, which is why Origin wears its ‘made in Britain’ badge with pride.


“It’s interesting that cost and


quality were most likely to influence the buying decision. However, for home items such as windows and doors that are built to last, we would


always advise weighing up the initial cost against the lifespan of the product, as it’s often a no brainer to spend a little more from the start for a much longer lasting, better quality product.”


How long Brits think items should last (in years):


1. Car – 11.23 2. Oven/Cooker – 10.32 3. Stereo system – 10.27 4. Freezer – 9.95 5. Fridge – 9.76


6. Garden equipment – 8.8 7. TV – 8.72 8. Mattress – 8.68 9. Tumble dryer – 8.4 10. Washing machines – 8.2 11. Microwave – 8.13 12. Dishwasher – 8.09 13. Garden mower – 8.09 14. DVD player – 7.99 15. Kitchen equipment – 7.95 16. Hedge trimmer – 7.89 17. Food processor – 7.86 18. Vacuum cleaner – 7.89 19. Coffee maker – 7.13 20. Iron – 7.04


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