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Design for longevity involves designing products to have a longer life, but must also take into account optimum life span.  It is important to think about what is appropriate to your product.

E.g. it is not appropriate to design carrier bags out of PVC, a material which has an excellent level of durability, as a carrier bag will only have a short life span (~6 months).  It might however be appropriate to specify PVC for waste pipes that will remain in a building for up to 100 years or more.

For packaging, the life span of the package only needs to meet the life span of the product it contains.  Do not over design your products.

For electronic products it is responsible to design products which will last and not break down after 2 years.  Consider the upgradeability of your product.