The Apple Geek doesn’t fall far from the Apple tree. Mashable has put together a compilation of Apple products from the year 1976 to 2011.
With each passing year, Apple devices have been reshaped with vibrant, expanded color pallets. But, have they evolved into more environmentally friendly devices?
Granted, Apple is reported to be in the top 5 for smartphone recycling programs, but not all of their recent devices are known for being designed for disassembly. After a Sustainable Technology study revealed that iPhones are depleting the Earth’s resources, the Apple Recycling Program emerged to support the company’s commitment to the environment through design for disassembly.
Apple’s more recent devices, the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, however, were analyzed by iFixit. The company dissected the two devices and found them difficult to open due to globs of glue and other not so environmentally friendly materials.
The 5S proved to be slightly more difficult to take apart compared to its predecessor and is equipped with a battery that requires heat and prying in order to be removed, while the iPhone 5 was equipped with a convenient pull tab.
Without easy battery replacement, iPhones don’t last that long. This is when consumers usually start tossing old phones into junk drawers or even the trash to pick up a new one.
The iPhone 5C, Apple’s penetration into the cheap smarthphone market, is made of 14 grams of hard-to-recycle polycarbonate, which requires certified ITAD providers to ground off, burn off, somehow remove the lacquer coating in order to reuse the plastic. Every port, button and slider has had its metal traded out for plastic.
As Apple continues to pump out a few new devices each year, electronics recyclers must continue to stay ahead of game. With so many models on the market, ITAD providers are constantly looking for the best and most responsible way to recycle, refurbish and dispose of these smartphones with the ultimate goal of diminishing the growing stream of harmful e-waste.
If your device is unable to be refurbished or repaired, recycling is the next best thing! Did you know there’s more gold in a pound of electronics than a pound of gold ore? Responsible recycling of precious metals found in most smartphones is essential, especially with the constant flood of new models being released. As a matter of fact, Google searches for “iPhone recycling” coincide and have been growing with every new iPhone release.
OEMs must work with certified ITAD providers in considering the after-affects electronics have on the environment. By encouraging design for disassembly in the early design phases, this will decrease regulation and potential liability while maintaining competitiveness in a marketplace of increasingly environmentally conscious consumers.
More design for disassembly and less glue, please!