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Product lifetimes are increasingly prominent in discussions concerning sustainability, particularly in the context of the circular economy, resource efficiency, waste reduction and climate change. A growing number of academic researchers, businesses, think tanks, government bodies and policy stakeholders are interested in understanding the effect that product longevity has on environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Initiated in order to share and develop expertise in this field of knowledge, the first Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE) conference was held in 2015, at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. The 2nd PLATE conference was held at the University of Delft in the Netherlands in 2017 and the 3rd PLATE conference, in Berlin, Germany, was held in 2019, organised by Fraunhofer IZM in cooperation with Technische Universit├Ąt Berlin. Due to the impact of the COVID pandemic, the 4th PLATE conference, held in 2021, was a virtual, online event, organised by the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Around 200 participants have attended recent PLATE conferences, from disciplines such as design, engineering, business management, marketing, environmental science, anthropology, geography, economics, sociology and politics. The number of papers presented has grown from 66 in 2015 to 138 in 2021, reflecting increased academic activity in the field. Papers are selected by a scientific committee through a rigorous peer review process. Conference proceedings are open access.

Universities are welcome to apply to join the PLATE Consortium, which oversees and supports PLATE conference activities. If your organisation is interested in membership, please contact us.

The PLATE Conference series was initiated by Prof. Tim Cooper (Nottingham Trent University, UK), who chaired the Consortium from 2015 until 2021. The Consortium is currently chaired by Prof. Conny Bakker and Prof. Ruth Mugge (University of Delft, the Netherlands).

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