You either love or hate Apple. Their products are all over the world, and are considered the best gadgets on the market by many. However, they have recently come under fire for the materials they use in their products. Therefore, in its Environmental Responsibility Report (covering the 2016 fiscal year), Apple announced it would stop mining the materials for their its products and begin to use recycled materials.
The report states, “Traditional supply chains are linear. Materials are mined, manufactured as products, and often end up in landfills after use. Then the process starts over and more materials are extracted from the earth for new products. We believe our goal should be a closed-loop supply chain, where products are built using only renewable resources or recycled material.”
However, Apple hasn’t completely figured out how exactly it is going to complete this idea. Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives told VICE news that, “we’re actually doing something we rarely do, which is announce a goal before we’ve completely figured out how to do it.”
Nevertheless, the company has begun doing research on the materials it uses to create its iPhones. In particular, aluminum. The reports discusses the best way to find reclaimed aluminum that is strong enough for the iPhone was through their own products and processes. Apple has already begun recycling their aluminum with the help of a machine they created named Liam (pictured below). Liam is “a line of robots that can quickly disassemble iPhone 6, sorting its high quality components with the goal of reducing the need to mine more resources from the earth. With two Liam lines up and running, we can take apart up to 2.4 million phones a year.”
In order to help Apple towards their goals, consumers can recycle their old phones through the “Apple Renew” Program. According to the Apple website, “Apple Renew” is an initiative where users can “Recycle any Apple device online and at any Apple Store. For qualifying devices, you’ll receive a gift card. We’ll either refurbish the device for resale or recycle its materials responsibly to be reused.”
For many years now, Apple has been working towards a cleaner, greener future. Many of their facilities already run, or will soon run, on renewable energy and recent technological developments have led to less energy consumed by Apple products. Whether it’s actually to help the environment or just to make more money, Apple is certainly headed in the right direction.