United States – Can we stop mining the earth for materials altogether? That’s the question Apple asks in its latest responsibility report, in which it declares: ‘One day we’d like to be able to build new products with just recycled materials, including your old products.’
It’s a tall order to create all devices from 100% recycled materials, Apple acknowledges. To get a head start the company is dedicated to ‘inventing better ways to reuse and recycle’.
One example of their R&D efforts is Liam, a line of robots that disassembles the iPhone 6, and subsequently sorts the handheld’s components. Currently, there are two Liam lines up and running – they can process almost 2.5 million phones per year.
‘We’re now using 100 percent recycled tin for the solder in the main logic board of iPhone 6s,’ Apple says. It goes on to state that the next thing it will be experimenting with is how to recover cobalt from its lithium-ion batteries and to use recycled cobalt.
The leading electronics manufacturer points out that is already relying on over 99% recycled and responsibly sourced paper in its packaging. ‘We’re sourcing virgin paper responsibly, protecting sustainable forests, and making iPhone 7 boxes from responsibly managed paper, bamboo, and waste sugarcane,’ Apple adds.
To date, seventeen of Apple’s 18 final assembly sites have received UL’s Zero Waste to Landfill validation – as a result more than 240 000 tonnes of waste has been diverted from landfills since January 2015.
The company has decided to expand this programme to cover an additional 25 suppliers.
Apple recovered around 28 million pounds of steel for reuse in 2015.
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