Apple’s sleek products are beloved around the globe, but the company has been under fire in recent years for false environmental claims. Despite the tech giant’s prior claims of being environmentally conscious, Apple is still the largest manufacturer of electronic devices, therefore, directly responsible for a large portion of the world’s electronic waste. However, this month the company’s 2022 Environmental Progress Report was released, and proves that Apple has taken multiple steps toward a greener future.
The manufacturing of new devices requires the mining of precious metals. To reduce the constant use of earth’s minerals, last year Apple developed a machine referred to as “Taz” that recovers rare earth magnets that may otherwise be shredded. According to the company’s 2022 Environmental Progress Report, “While rare earth magnets are typically lost in these conventional shredders, Taz is designed to keep these valuable materials intact to improve our overall recovery rate.” In addition, the company has updated other machines to be more effective in the recovery of rare earth magnets, tungsten and steel.
According to the EPR, the industry leader more than doubled its use of recycled tungsten, rare earth elements and cobalt, and increased its use of recycled aluminum to 59 percent using its own manufacturing aluminum scrap. 30 percent of tin used in Apple products last year were certified recycled, and most of the company’s newer devices are made with 100 percent recycled tin. Recyclers can recover the same amount of materials from one metric ton of iPhone components typically extracted from 2,000 metric tons of mined rock.
The report stated, “Apple teams are doing the work required to make this transition – seeking out sources of recycled and renewable content, building new supply chains and enhancing industry transparency and traceability.”
The company’s goal is eventually to use only renewable or recyclable materials in its products, and it’s clear they are putting in the effort to prove that Apple products are as environmentally friendly as the company claims.