Apple's Eco Friendly side for Environmental Geeks

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by york2600, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. york2600 macrumors regular


    Jul 24, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I was just doing a bit of research to find out just how eco-friendly Apple is. I wanted to see if they were still trying to be eco-friendly like they were in the 80s and early 90s thanks to good ol Steve. Turns out they're making lots of strides to reduce waste and increase the percentage of recycle materials in their products. If anyone out there is interested here's the page:

    The Good:
    - Apple uses the only form of polystyrene that is recyclable for their packaging
    - Their cardboard uses the least amount of materials possible and is CFC free
    - They use non-bleach whitening agents for their packaging and documentation
    - They exceed Energy Star requirements by 6 fold on sleep
    - They recycled over 70% of their waste in '99 saving over $200,000 and making them $1,000,000

    The bad:
    - They don't use recycled material in any of their products. Pretty ****ty if you ask me
  2. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    I don't have how good the products would be if they were made out of recycled materials, though. It usually seems like recycled papers are pretty low in quality, but since that is all I really know about recycled products, I can't speak for anything. It is good that Apple is being eco friendly, since it seems like most companies don't care. I suppose there is an upside to Apple never seeming to have instruction manuals afterall!

    [edit] It would seem like Microsoft is the most eco friendly company in the computer industry--all their software is made from 100% recycled (or stolen) ideas!
  3. york2600 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 24, 2002
    Portland, OR
    Paper is a tough one to recycle. Its itty bitty fibers get sliced into smaller and smaller pieces every time they recycle it. Therefore you can't make 100% recycled office paper. The most you usually see is 30% and that's basically the same as 100% virgin paper. 100% recycled paper can be turned into toilet paper and other papers that tear easily since that's what happens when you use 100% recycled paper in a product. Since we use a lot of toilet paper throughout the world I'd say there's a pretty good market. Plastics are a totally different game. The problem there is getting 100% of the plastic you want (PVC, HDPE, PET, etc). When you recycle bottles they try to separate them, but they never get it to 100% of the right plastic. Glues, labels, tops, and sorting errors make it hard to get a perfect recycled plastic. It's still totally useable though. I think Apple's problem with recycled plastics comes more from the inability to make (at least cost effectively) clear recycled plastics. Clear plastic has to be virgin plastic. That's not stopping them from using recycled metals though for frames etc.
  4. legion macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2003
    Personally, I think Apple overpackages their items (everything... from hardware right down to the elaborate software boxes) I think it has something to do with Apple's marketing seeing the overpackaging as a hook to the design pros and such, but between overpackaging with recyclable materials and streamlining packaging completely, streamlining would be much more eco-friendly.

    Even Microsoft overpackages items geared towards Mac (just look at the differences in packaging of MS Office XP and Office v X) It seems to be a fundamentally engrained expectation in Mac users (how many times have you read diatribes about how beautifully packaged a Mac item was on forums??? Sometimes it seems more time is spent on this than a review of the actual product...)

    It reminds me a bit of products bought in Japan (I guess, then, it should be no surprise about the Japanese fan base of Apple) with their elaborate packaging.. most of the time it just isn't needed but it does add to the overall impression of "quality" of a product (though falsely, imho)

    Also, since I'm a bit of a country boy, it reminds me of raccoons because raccoons are (really, really) attracted to shiny objects. I'd take this perspective to reflect on the overpackaging as a little insulting and patronizing on the behalf of Apple towards its customers.

    I think it would be great if they had one "display" packaged model for the marketing factor and then the sold items would come in simple recycled carboard boxes (double boxed) After all, once unpacked, I don't keep all the boxes, only the merchandise I paid for, which should have all the wow factor needed.

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