Kirsi Laitala & Ingun Grimstad Klepp
The current systems of consumption and production cause long-lasting social-ecological damage and a fundamental change seems inevitable, if livelihoods of present and future generations are to be preserved. The lifetimes of products and their performance concerning reliability, functionality, re-usability and recyclability are core issues in the transformation from a linear to a more sustainable circular economy. While discussions on product lifetimes have been going on for a number of years, the topic has come to the forefront of current (political, scientific & societal) debates due to its interconnectedness with a number of recent prominent movements, such as the circular economy, ecodesign and collaborative consumption. The 3rd international PLATE conference (Product Lifetimes And The Environment), held from 18-20 June 2019 in Berlin, Germany, addressed product lifetimes in the context of sustainability. The proceedings of this conference present a great variety of significant research on how to enable more sustainable practices of designing, producing, using, re-pur-posing and recycling products and on how to assess the sustainability of these endeavours. The authors work in inter- and transdisciplinary teams that operate at the crossroads of engineering, design, social sciences and environmental sciences.