Apple Reveals Goal For All Products To Be Made With 100% Recycled Materials

12 months ago

Apple is pushing to have a 100 percent renewable culture when it comes to using energy and creating their products. A new 2017 progress report explains what the tech giant has done so far and has set itself some seriously impressive goals to meet in the future, including making their gadgets from 100 percent recycled materials.

In their Environmental Responsibility Report, Apple details how far they’re going to go when it comes to using renewable products. Not only will the phones and other devices be made of recycled products, they’re planning to run 100 percent of their operations on renewable energy. All of the packaging, too, will be from 100 percent recycled paper. No exact plans have been detailed in the report, but they will form a “closed-loop supply chain” that will keep them using recycled resources over and over again.

Apple has already done quite a bit when it comes to going green in 2016:

“96 percent of the electricity used at our global facilities came from renewable energy, reducing our carbon emissions by nearly 585,000 metric tons. We’re 100 percent renewable in 24 countries—and all of Apple’s data centers.”

The news adds to the Apple Renew program that the company is continuing to pursue. Its website emphasizes that those with old devices can wipe their data, tell them what device they’re giving back, and Apple will give them a label to send it in. Certain devices can be traded in for money depending on the product’s condition. 

Another feature is “Liam,” Apple’s disassembly robot that breaks down devices. All of these parts from older devices are saved and reused in other phones when possible, or they can be melted down and formed into other needs for the new products. The company released a video back in March 2016 that explains "Liam" in more detail.

Apple has also put more resources in their Environmental Testing Lab. Scientists have increased their findings of harmful toxins and substances, nearly double what they found in the previous year based on the report (10,000 to 20,000 components). Apple Park, the company’s corporate campus, is hailed as the largest LEED-certified building in North America.

Part of the incentive for tech companies like Apple to push for a 100 percent effort is the hit the industry is currently taking. They used cobalt for the lithium batteries from Congo, which reportedly had miners laboring in dangerous conditions. Children were also part of the workforce. Apple has stopped working with those suppliers last month and won’t be dealing with them until the working conditions have improved and there is no further child labor.

Still, it’s exciting to see Apple pursue such a challenge. The company’s VP of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives admitted in a report from Arielle Duhaime-Ross of VICE News that the exact details of how they’d reach 100 percent efficiency hasn’t been spelled out yet, but they understood why they had to get there.

“We’re actually doing something we rarely do, which is announce a goal before we’ve completely figured out how to do it...So we’re a little nervous, but we also think it’s really important, because as a sector we believe it’s where technology should be going.”
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