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Sustainability Delivered by Madeleine Pullman

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CHAPTER 5

Sustainable Product End-of-Life Management

At one time, consumer products had very long lives, with repairable and reusable parts and minimal or reusable packaging. However, in the 1920s, the concept of planned obsolescence emerged, coinciding with the move toward mass production and cost minimization. With this approach, product designers and manufacturers intentionally create products that have diminished durability and need quick replacement—the goal being to make consumers buy updated products sooner. As a result, we now see products like furniture, which historically lasted a lifetime or through multiple generations of users, now last just a few years. For example, it is not uncommon for college students to fit their rooms with ...

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