Apple Pledges to End Mining and Use 100% Recycled Materials for Products

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Just ahead of Earth Day, Apple has released its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report [PDF] with a lofty new goal: ending mining. Apple says the company is working on a "closed-loop supply chain" that would allow it to stop mining the earth for rare minerals and metals.

    "One day, we'd like to be able to build new products with just recycled materials, including your old products," Apple says on its updated Environment site. In an interview with VICE, Apple vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson commented on the mining plan, saying "it's where technology should be going."

    Much of what goes into an iPhone isn't recycled, but Apple wants to change that by more aggressively using components taken from old iPhones and combining that with "high quality recycled metals" purchased from suppliers. Apple will double down on investments like Liam, the robot that breaks iPhones down into component parts, and it plans to continue to encourage customers to return products through the Apple Renew recycling program.


    While Apple plans to source more of its materials from recycled goods, Jackson says that though a "product that lasts is really important," the company doesn't have plans to make its devices easier to repair to increase longevity.
    Other environmental milestones are also outlined in Apple's report. 96 percent of the power used by Apple facilities around the world comes from clean energy sources, and as has been the case for several years, 100 percent of the electricity that powers Apple data centers comes from solar, hydro, and wind energy sources.


    Apple now has seven suppliers that have committed to using renewable energy, and the company plans to help suppliers bring 4 gigawatts of renewable power online by 2020.


    When it comes to packaging, more than 99 percent of the packaging used for Apple products is responsibly sourced. Virgin paper is sourced from protected sustainable forests, and the company has successfully protected or created enough working forests to cover all of its packaging needs.

    Lisa Jackson's full comments on the 2017 environmental report can be read over at VICE, and Apple's full Environmental Responsibility Report, which goes into much more detail on its recycling efforts, packaging, water usage, and carbon footprint, is available here.

    Article Link: Apple Pledges to End Mining and Use 100% Recycled Materials for Products
  2. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    If they reach this goal, it will be a significant milestone. I really look forward to hearing about their progress with this.
  3. Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
  4. Count Blah, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017

    Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Lots of material to recycle, given Apple's planned obsolescence with glued/soldered in components.
  5. Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
    Even if you don't believe in climate change or are dead set against "the liberal agenda," why are you against humans being resourceful instead of wasteful?
  6. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    Old news judging by the recycled iPhone 6/6S/7, SE, iPad 2017, etc.
  7. xflashx macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2016
    Meanwhile they even took away the possibility of just upgrading the ram of the Mac mini. So instead of putting more ram and an ssd into it and letting it run for a couple of years longer, you have to throw it away.
  8. joiwomcow macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2017
    So that's why they've made repairs and upgrades impossible! Recycling! Courage!
  9. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
    So...pretty much a true Apple Car is out of the question.
  10. McScooby macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2005
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    Just about to say the same thing xflashx, like stop gluing stuff, but we know that ain't gonna happen & as for environmental whatever, I just read it as an opportunity to buy back your existing product for peanuts regurgitate it & sell it back to you, soon computers will be the new :apple:Music, u just rent it from :apple: much in the same way as the iPhone annual upgrade, it's all about saving cash, nothing else!
  11. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    Standing behind their values. Hopefully pushing their and other industries to follow, too.
  12. Tapiture macrumors 65816


    Oct 1, 2016
    Your grandkids will love that you put it in quotes while the water is up to their waists.
  13. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    This is great. As others have, and will say, now I hope Apple will also make their future products less glue-filled and more user-serviceable/upgradable. That would also be the right thing to do. I don't believe it is beyond their skills to design securely put together devices that hide unsightly screws and/or fixings, and it could make it easier for them to recycle too.

    I was surprised this took six comments!
  14. centauratlas macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2003
    Gluing everything together instead of allowing easier repairs (and recycling and upgrades for the Mac etc) is a huge waste.
  15. Chupa Chupa, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2017

    Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Regardless of your thoughts on climate why would you not be for this. It's so much more than that hot button. Mining is a disaster for humans and also animal's habitat. And whether you give two ***** about that it's part of earth's ecosystem, so yes, we are all affected. It's not in dispute. If Apple can lead the way here it's a very positive step.
  16. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I always wondering how long we can dump reusable stuff in landfill. So much waste out there.
  17. btrach144 macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2015
    No more child labor in the mines? The mining lords are probably freaking out right now.
  18. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    I'm slightly right of center and not overly sympathetic to additional government imposed regulation in the name of environmentalism but this is a private company making a choice to utilize materials from waste products. That's great.
  19. garylapointe macrumors 65816


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    I think they should make a user easily repairable iPhone. Just as a proof of concept.

    I'm guessing it'd be an inch longer / wider and ½ inch thicker (and weighs who knows how much more!). They've got to have brackets/mounts for everything that doesn't get glued and forced together. Some kind of mounting for the screen and a user replaceable battery.

    Maybe even offer it for sale and see if anyone is really interested in buying it. Even have it Made in the USA and see how that affects anything.

    Of course if it's more durable, it may have some industrial appeal.

    The iBrick...
  20. EM2013 macrumors 68000


    Sep 2, 2013
    I thought they already have with the SE, 6, 6S, 7?
  21. ocnitsa macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2011
    So are you going to be required to take an Apple car to a certified repair center to replace the windshield wipers for "security"?
  22. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    Oh yea why bother with renewable energy, coal is making a comeback! Make coal great again!
  23. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    This is a very lofty goal (ending mining) and I commend Apple on doing it.

    However I do not support their anti-repair mentality. Using glues instead of screws and harnesses for batteries, soldering everything they possibly can, not giving repair shops the proper schematics to do their repairs, using propiatary connector interfaces on their SSD's etc

    Much of this stuff is where Apple has gone out of their way to make it physically more difficult to repair something on purpose. She makes it sound like technology is becoming so sophisticated that it is now impossible for some repairs to be performed without the highly trained Apple technicians and their propitiatory equipment. That is simply not true.

    As I just said Apple has shipped now several generations of SSD's (SATA and PCIe ones) which use standard NAND and Chipsets. The Samsung SM951 for example is a standard part any PC OEM can purchase from Samsung and Apple uses that exact SSD in their own computers. But with one major difference, Apple changed the electrical and data pin outs on it. Other than that there are no physical changes.

    And that means it cannot be serviced by users or repair shops because they do not have access to a physically compatible SSD due to this one single change that was enacted to disrupt repairs and aftermarket upgrades.

    That is despicable and it creates more waste, Apple should be ashamed.
  24. dstud208 macrumors member


    Mar 14, 2013
    While 100% recycled products is a romantic idea, it is also physically impossible for everyone to do. Even if there was absolutely no waste and everything on the planet was recycled (something I personally hope we eventually achieve!!) that would still only account for something along the lines of 60% of the global demand for materials.

    Don't get me wrong, I commend apple for this push, just don't get all up in arms when mining continues to be a thing.

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