As times change, brands and products come and go for various reasons. But some things seem so ubiquitous that it’s hard to imagine a world without them.
Here are 6 things that may disappear in your lifetime, whether for environmental, health, or technological reasons.
1. Energy drinks
Red Bull may give you wings, but it can also give you tremors, insomnia, and gastrointestinal upset. Lawyers are already urging the FDA to ban its sale to minors after one teen’s death, with Monster Energy alone responsible for 6 deaths and 15 hospitalizations since 2009.
If NYC has already tried to ban large sodas, it certainly isn’t hard to believe that in several decades these fatally-caffeinated concoctions will be a thing of the past. Besides, there may be easier, healthier ways to get caffeine boosts.
At this point in time, there is a distinct possibility that your future grandchildren will look at your old yearbook picture and be utterly perplexed by the contraption on your face. Or, they may mistake it for Google Glass, or a similar AR device.
While glasses-wearers outnumber contact-wearers now, as today’s youth get older, that figure will likely flip. Plus, LASIK is already one of the most popular procedures in the U.S,. and will only rise in frequency as corrective eye surgery prices decline.
3. Antibacterial soap
We’ve already written about the damaging effects of the chemical Triclosan, found in antibacterial soaps and other products. P&G has banned it, and the FDA has proposed a ban as well after years of investigation.
The soap may be more harmful than helpful, as there is no proven benefit over regular soap. Since awareness on potential hormonal and environmental damages is spreading, it may become obsolete before we know it, looked back upon with as much disgust as celery jello.
4. Wallets, and everything in them
It’s basically an extension of every functioning adult’s body, second only to perhaps the cell phone and keys. But there are already growing alternatives to credit cards and currencies, the convenience of which just may abolish the wallet as we know it.
A digital wallet, in contrast, is closer than we think, with one smart wallet called Coin already available for pre-order. Coin combines all credit cards into one swipeable device that sits with your phone, which will alert you if you leave it behind.
5. Plastic bags
Will the classic scene in American Beauty of a plastic bag being tossed by the wind seem even stranger 30 years from now? Given the state of marine pollution via plastic products, hopefully.
Anti-plastic-bag policies which either ban or tax the use of plastic bags are already in place in 100 U.S. cities, with California moving toward becoming the first state with a blanket plastic bag ban. Similar laws exist in Bangladesh, China, and Rwanda.
Lastly, some may love a good drag of nicotine, if by some I mean 6 million and by love, I mean are addicted to. Even so, smoking has nationally declined from 42% in 1965 to 19% in 2011, according to the American Cancer Society.
That decline is largely in thanks to aggressive anti-smoking policies. With advertisements banned, health advisories made mandatory, bans in public parks and restaurants, health campaigns, and raised taxes, these policies are estimated to have prevented 7.4 million premature deaths worldwide.
Most recently, CVS has announced they will stop selling cigarettes completely. Other retailers may follow suit, and health officials predict that adult smokers will be below 5% in America by 2050.