Session 11

The Long View – Exploring Product Lifetime Extension
Bettina Heller
UN Environment

On August 2, 2017, we began to use more from nature than our planet can renew in the whole year. “Earth overshoot day” comes earlier every year. Short use and fast replacement of products increasingly
dictates consumption patterns in many regions. With the expected doubling of the global middle class in the coming years, the way we consume will have an ever-growing influence on the planet and its ability to support us. A transition to a more circular economy and to sustainable consumption and production practices is urgent to alleviate
this situation. Extending the useful lives of our products can be one strategy to address this.
The presentation will present key findings from a new UN Environment report of the 10YFP, around the opportunities available to consumers, private sector and government, of developed and developing economies, to address product lifetime extension. Three policy perspectives, with corresponding measures, will emerge from an analysis of optimal replacement moments and actual lifetimes for seven products: washing machines, refrigerators, TVs, mobile phones, laptops and clothing.