Producing goods for remanufacturing and reuse

Designing products for end-of-life treatment

Guide

You should aim to reduce the environmental impact of the products you manufacture. Planning what happens to an end-of-life product - ie one that it is no longer useful - has an important impact on its long-term environmental effects.

Having an end-of-life strategy can encourage business development, create new jobs, reduce environmental damage and increase profits.

Options for end-of-life treatment include:

  • Reuse - returning a product or its components to its original use.
  • Repair - returning a faulty or broken product or component to a usable state.
  • Reconditioning/refurbishing - returning a used product to a satisfactory working state.
  • Remanufacturing - returning a used product to its original performance.
  • Repurposing - putting a product or its components to a use that is different from its original purpose.
  • Recycling - processing waste materials either for their original or another purpose.
  • Composting - converting organic matter to a soil additive which nourishes plants.
  • Energy recovery - incinerating waste materials to generate power.
  • Landfill - disposing of waste by burying it.

It is important to consider the type of product when you decide which end-of-life strategy is most suitable. You should consider the materials used, the technology involved, its intended market and its ability to be disassembled.

For more information, see ecodesign for goods and services.