I own a Blunt umbrella. From their and other umbrella sites, there is a claim that over a billion umbrellas are thrown away every year.

Nobody quotes a source, and I cannot fathom how 1 umbrella is discarded for every 8 humans every year.

  • 3
    I haven't thrown away an umbrella in a couple of years, but I do have a small pile of ones that should definitely be thrown out... Also, I notice that Blunt offers only a two-year warranty for their supposedly "built to last" brand. Assuming only a quarter of the people on Earth own an umbrella, and they throw it out every two years... :) And your average umbrella supposedly lasts even less time than that! Just some back-of-the-envelope thoughts. May 29 at 13:41
  • 2
    As an anecdotal counterpoint, I have had the same three cheap umbrellas for 15 years, and they are still functional. I suspect location plays a large part in consumption and disposal of umbrellas, and any calculation would need to factor that.
    – bishop
    May 29 at 13:53
  • 4
    Another way of saying "1 umbrella is discarded per 8 humans per year" is "An umbrella typically lasts 8 years (if everybody has one)". May 29 at 14:11
  • 4
    According to Weather News' 2014 Global Umbrella Survey, there are currently about 19 billion umbrellas in possession world wide. If that is correct (and the number does not sound unreasonable), my gut feeling is, that it is an underestimate that only one billion of them break each year, but perhaps people also keep their broken umbrellas and don't actually throw them away. May 29 at 18:50
  • 3
    I would guess that this claim came about in reverse. If 1 billion new umbrellas are produced every year (a number that presumably is available and known to umbrella manufacturers) then it seems reasonable to assume that around that many umbrellas are thrown away every year as well. Some accumulation will happen but the number of umbrellas being thrown away each year should be of a simialar magnitude as the number of newly produced umbrellas every year.
    – quarague
    May 30 at 11:50


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .