An exploratory study has been examined factors affecting the lifetimes of selected small electrical appliances, to assist in the development of policies to extend these lifetimes (for the purposes of conserving resources, protecting the environment, and reducing the costs of solid waste management). The study included (i) a consumer survey, (ii) in-depth interviews with manufacturers, and (iii) a limited investigation of second-hand markets. Tentative findings are that physical durability appears to be a key factor affecting the lifetime of a few of the products examined (particularly those that malfunction after less than three years' use) while the lifetimes of other products seem more dependent on the consumers' desire for change (a desire that is fostered to some extent by the manufacturers). Selected policy options are reviewed.


Urban, Community and Regional Planning



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