Special Issue submission: Resource, Conservation, and Recycling Journal

Yumiko Henneberry News Item, Special issues Plate 2023

The Product Lifetimes and the Environment committee would like to welcome articles from the PLATE2023 conference as well as original research and review articles as a special issue in the Journal of Resource, Conservation, and Recycling. Deadline for submissions is: 31 October 2023.

Please see below for additional information including submission guidelines and topic areas. You can also find this news item and submit your article on the RCR news website.

Retaining product value in a circular economy

A Circular Economy posits that products ought to be used for an extended period of time, thereby retaining their value for the first and successive users (Geissdoerfer et al., 2017). Regrettably, however, many individuals in contemporary markets continue to replace their products prematurely, either due to a loss of functional value or other forms of value to the owner (Van den Berge, Magnier and Mugge, 2021; Yamamoto and Murakami, 2021). This loss of value ultimately draws consumers to new products that may offer greater or different value. Often the products being replaced do not enter the second-hand market, resulting in further loss of product value (Poppelaars, Bakker and Van Engelen, 2020). The environmental consequences of these short product lifetimes include escalating CO2 emissions, material scarcity and e-waste.

The Product Lifetimes and the Environment Conference (PLATE 2023) aims to advance our understanding of the critical role of extending product lifetimes in achieving a Circular Economy. In this special issue, we seek to bring together new research that specifically addresses the need to actively retain value in products across their entire lifetime in order to successfully transition to a Circular Economy.

Effective retention of product value necessitates a paradigm shift in how stakeholders within the value chain sell and interact with products. The scope of this special issue includes the organizational, market, and design challenges related to product value retention. Such challenges may encompass: 1) original equipment manufacturers producing products that demand new business and design strategies for encouraging value retention among their consumers; 2) repair or upcycling businesses that aim to provide value retention as their business proposition; 3) governmental bodies that seek to encourage value retention via policy; and 4) environmental assessment of different value-enhancing strategies.

Topic Areas

As this special issue seeks to expand the discourse on the importance of extending product lifetimes and value retention, we invite submissions focused on consumer durables and fashion. In particular, we welcome contributions that draw from the research presented at the Product Lifetimes and the Environment Conference (PLATE 2023), as well as original research and review articles on the following topics:

  • Product lifetime extension strategies
  • Design for value retention processes – reuse, repair, refurbish, remanufacturing
  • Consumer/user behavior practices to retain product value
  • Circular business models to retain product value
  • Policies for product value retention
  • Environmental assessment of value retention

Guest editors

Ruth Mugge*1 r.mugge@tudelft.nl
Louise Moller Haase2 Louise@create.aau.dk
Kirsi Niinimaki3 kirsi.niinimaki@aalto.fi
Melanie Jaeger-Erben4 melanie.jaeger-erben@b-tu.de
Matthew Watkins5 matthew.watkins@ntu.ac.uk
Linda Nhu Laursen2 linda@create.aau.dk
Benjamin Sprecher1 b.sprecher@tudelft.nl
Jessika Richter6 jessika.richter@iiiee.lu.se

1Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
2Faculty of IT and Design, Aalborg University, Denmark
3Department of Design, Aalto University, Finland
4Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Cottbus, Germany
5Department of Engineering, Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom
6International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), Lund University, Sweden

Manuscript Preparation and Submission

A Virtual Special Issue (VSI) is an online-only grouping of Special Issue articles traditionally assigned to a single Special Issue. The articles in a VSI will be assigned a unique identifier and published in a regular journal issue. The unique identifier allows for simultaneously adding the article to a VSI in ScienceDirect.com. Articles grouped together in a VSI retain their original citation details. A VSI speeds up the publication of individual articles as, unlike the publication process for conventional Special Issue articles, a VSI does not need to wait for the final article to be ready before publication.

A detailed submission guideline is available as “Guide for Authors” at: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/resources-conservation-and-recycling. All manuscripts and any supplementary material should be submitted through the online editorial system (https://www.editorialmanager.com/recycl). The authors must select “SI: Product Lifetimes and the Environment” in the submission process.

Important Dates

  • Full paper submission deadline: 31 October 2023
  • Final decision notification: 31 March 2024
  • Publication: As soon as accepted (VSI)


Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N. M., & Hultink, E. J. (2017). The Circular Economy–A new sustainability paradigm?. Journal of Cleaner Production143, 757-768.

Poppelaars, F., Bakker, C., & van Engelen, J. (2020). Design for divestment in a circular economy: Stimulating voluntary return of smartphones through design. Sustainability12(4), 1488.

van den Berge, R., Magnier, L., & Mugge, R. (2021). Too good to go? Consumers’ replacement behaviour and potential strategies for stimulating product retention. Current Opinion in Psychology39, 66-71.

Yamamoto, H., & Murakami, S. (2021). Product obsolescence and its relationship with product lifetime: An empirical case study of consumer appliances in Japan. Resources, Conservation and Recycling174, 105798.