I am not sure how to tackle this question, so I will take it from two different angles. My first reaction to the question was that people do not know how bad waste is, and therefore waste more. We in the US live in a “throw away society,” trash that is out of sight is out of mind. So in my opinion the worst part of consumer waste is people do not realize that it will be around for thousands of years to come, and therefore do not try to curve their appetite for consumer goods. Education is the only way to make people realize that the waste we generate that ends up in landfills is going to have a lasting effect on the generations of people and animals in the future.
After I realized that might not have been what you meant by the question, and thought maybe you meant what is the worst item in consumer waste, I then thought of plastic. Plastic does not biodegrade, so when it ends up in landfills, it will literally be there for thousands and thousands of years. Even when it does break down, it will continue to be a polymer, even at the cellular level. There was a time when people and animals could walk around on the Earth and eat just about anything (pending it was not poisonous to you). Plastics are not edible, and have already killed a plethora of marine animals as well as terrestrial animals that have ingested it. It will surely be a problem in the future, and will be around for times scales greater than my own existence.
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