So... 100% Recycle Aluminum?

Hazmat401

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 29, 2017
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438
Delaware County, Pa
I know the hippies are happy... a lot of you guys see this as Green

I’m looking at yet another “cost cutting” scheme by apple to reduced their cost. I’m starting to think that a lot of apple trade-ins from watches to MacBook pros are being used as scrap metal

What are the details of this new recycled aluminum material? And how many coke can we’re used to make a single iPhone Pro

I can assume the new MacBook Pro 16 would be made from this material as well
 
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Hazmat401

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 29, 2017
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438
Delaware County, Pa
If it saves money and benefits the environment that's a win-win.

Your post sounds like you're describing a problem? But it is surely not one.

It’s a win for the environment... at what cost? we all pay a premium for Apple products

I would rather my MacBook Pro was made with recycled scrap from a old 747-200 than from coke cans
 

0989382

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Jan 11, 2018
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It’s a win for the environment... at what cost? we all pay a premium for Apple products

I would rather my MacBook Pro was made with recycled scrap from a old 747-200 than from coke cans
At no additional cost. We pay the same as we did before, only now, it's doing good for the environment.

What evidence do you have to believe that it's made from coke cans? And also, what benefit would making it from a disused aeroplane have to the user?
 

Hazmat401

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 29, 2017
280
438
Delaware County, Pa
At no additional cost. We pay the same as we did before, only now, it's doing good for the environment.

What evidence do you have to believe that it's made from coke cans? And also, what benefit would making it from a disused aeroplane have to the user?
Better quality aluminum more than likely benefits from less dents, superior resistance to oxidation and chipping.... no bending etc
 

0989382

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Jan 11, 2018
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Better quality aluminum more than likely benefits from less dents, superior resistance to oxidation and chipping.... no bending etc
Recycled aluminium does not perform inferiorly to non-recycled aluminium in the ways which you stated. What makes you think that it would?
 
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gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
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At no additional cost. We pay the same as we did before, only now, it's doing good for the environment.

What evidence do you have to believe that it's made from coke cans? And also, what benefit would making it from a disused aeroplane have to the user?
Aluminium is the same as aluminium. It doesn't matter one bit to the quality whether it is made from recycled coke cans or from aeroplane parts or directly from bauxite. The only difference is that bauxite requires a very expensive process of electrolysis which extracts the aluminium from the stones, which makes non-recycled aluminium a lot more expensive. After that you have aluminium, you melt it, you purify it, and put it into any shape you like.

For a Macbook, they start with a 2 kg block of aluminium, and drill out the bits that you don't want, leaving less than a pound that makes a MacBook, plus 1.5 kg of scraps. The scraps go right back, get melted and purified again, and put into new shapes. So Apple pays for a 2kg block, but then gets a lot of the money back.

Not recycling aluminium wouldn't be just bad for the environment, it would be just stupid because you are throwing away money. And the aluminium isn't itself bad for the environment; what's bad is that you need more bauxite and more electrical power if you throw it away.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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Between the coasts
The assumption is that Apple is saving money by using recycled aluminum, and is putting the savings it its pocket. Accepting the notion that using recycled aluminum reduces Apple's costs (which may or may not be true), it's just as likely that Apple is using the savings to pay for some other new feature, or to offset the increase in cost of other components. That's the way all manufacturers operate. While Apple is legendary for its higher prices, even Apple has to keep those prices within a range the public will be willing to pay.

Sure, "Apple is pocketing the savings" fits neatly into the "Evil Apple" narrative. If you want to believe the company is 100% evil and that there's evil intent in everything it does, there's not much I can say that would change your mind.

But if you're interested in another explanation...

It's likely that machining and other manufacturing costs for those 100% recycled aluminum cases far exceed the cost of the raw aluminum, so if Apple is saving any money at all, it's likely to be pennies per Mac. It's also likely that prior to "100% recycled aluminum" there was already a fairly high percentage of recycled aluminum in use. Sourcing "certified 100% recycled" aluminum may actually cost Apple a bit more than if they were willing to use aluminum with an unspecified amount of recycled content.

Regardless of the recycled content, Apple will have specified the metallurgical properties of the aluminum - a specific alloy. Yes, there are various sorts of "aircraft grade" and such - but those are not dependent upon the percentage of recycled content, but upon chemical composition and processes like heat-treating. "Aircraft aluminum" is not produced from virgin aluminum from a particular bauxite mine, it's produced by cooking up a particular soup in the smelter. If you read this page about aluminum alloys from the aluminum industry, you'll see that there's no mention at all of recycled content - alloying is dependent upon other factors: https://www.aluminum.org/resources/industry-standards/aluminum-alloys-101

Here are some other interesting quotes from that website (emphasis added):

Secondary production (aluminum produced from recycled material) saves more than 90 percent of the energy required to produce primary aluminum. Secondary and primary aluminum are chemically indistinguishable from one another.
The metal is 100 percent recyclable without loss of the metal’s properties. Recycling is also widespread. According to a study by Delft University of Technology in 2012 in Seattle, WA, more than 90 percent of aluminum in buildings is recycled.
And finally, this:

Companies across the country are incorporating environmental and sustainability goals into their business mission statements. Apple has pioneered the use of aluminum to create a sustainable and environmentally responsible manufacturing process. In 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs released a letter recommending changes to the company’s environmental policy to achieve “a greener Apple.” Jobs specifically encouraged the company’s adoption of aircraft-grade aluminum to improve recycling uptake. At that time, Jobs forecasted Apple would increase recycling effectiveness from 9 percent in 2006 to 28 percent in 2010. This goal was surpassed. The company achieved a 66 percent recycling rate in 2009 and has set a goal of 70 percent for 2015.
I believe what that emphasized part means is that by using higher-quality aircraft aluminum, Apple found a better market for the waste aluminum generated during manufacturing.
 
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Siamchaim

macrumors newbie
Sep 4, 2019
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London
Aluminium has always been widely recycled, it's expensive to extract from ores, but recycles very cheaply in comparison.

This is a complete non-issue, except apple decided to make a song and dance about it.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,481
8,189
Austin, TX
Wait...

We have someone complaining about the use of recycled aluminum? Is recycled aluminum that much cheaper?

I'm nonplussed by this whole thing. Absolutely ridiculous.
- - Post merged: - -

Aluminium has always been widely recycled, it's expensive to extract from ores, but recycles very cheaply in comparison.

This is a complete non-issue, except apple decided to make a song and dance about it.
It's not really a non-issue at all. It's great they use recycled aluminum.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
14,272
1,722
Australia, Perth
I know the hippies are happy... a lot of you guys see this as Green

I’m looking at yet another “cost cutting” scheme by apple to reduced their cost. I’m starting to think that a lot of apple trade-ins from watches to MacBook pros are being used as scrap metal

What are the details of this new recycled aluminum material? And how many coke can we’re used to make a single iPhone Pro

I can assume the new MacBook Pro 16 would be made from this material as well
I dunno how many are left... from the 60's

I usually conclude "how much is recycled" usually is pointless when its not even recycled propelyi n the first place. if done ok by end users, its probably not always done at the top... How do we even know?
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,038
1,601
Lincoln, UK
I dunno how many are left... from the 60's

I usually conclude "how much is recycled" usually is pointless when its not even recycled propelyi n the first place. if done ok by end users, its probably not always done at the top... How do we even know?
In Apple's case we know there is a lot recycled at the top. As mentioned above, 75% of the aluminium block used to make a MacBook is machined away, and that 75% is used in recycling.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
14,272
1,722
Australia, Perth
In Apple's case we know there is a lot recycled at the top. As mentioned above, 75% of the aluminium block used to make a MacBook is machined away, and that 75% is used in recycling.
ok, it's a closed loop process.. I was thinking about plastcs so just assumed it translated over to aluminum.
 
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