Project: Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) Product Age

Our research into product durability and product returns, detailed in our “Switched on to Value” report, highlighted that product lifetimes do not always meet customer expectations.

With 80% of participants indicating they want a minimum two-year guarantee on electrical and electronic products as standard, WRAP has begun a series of projects studying the age of products at the point of disposal to see where organisations can provide better product longevity and better lifetime guarantees. 

What can my organisation do?

WRAP has collated data about the age of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) at the point of donation and disposal to understand when in their life cycle they are donated or disposed of.  

Using this information, businesses can better understand actual lifetimes achieved for their products and use this to inform future product specifications and customer information. 

Current information

In 2014-15, WRAP studied product age at the point of donation or disposal. 

Serial numbers were recorded for five priority products (TV, refrigeration equipment, vacuum cleaners, laptops and washing machines) from Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and Approved Authorised Treatment Centres (AATFs).  1,769 serial numbers with photos were recorded over 12 sites.  A combination of desk-based methods were used to identify the age of items. Of the brands selected, 75% were aged.


By product type, mean ages in years were found to be: 

Product type

Sample size

Average Age (years)

Refrigeration equipment









Vacuum cleaner



Washing machine



Further information

This data provides a baseline for WRAP and esap signatories to build on over the coming years and gives us the opportunity to track how changes in manufacturing and consumer behaviour can affect the age, and also condition, of EEE at the point of disposal.

For further information on this project and how it’s currently growing, please contact one of our experts.

Where next?

Want to know more about product durability in sustainable electricals? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

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