Apple, Apple Music, iOS

When it comes down to using renewable materials to create its main product, Apple has just made a huge, huge commitment. The company has said that it will soon use only renewable materials, so as to protect the environment. So basically, the company wants to end its dependence upon mining altogether. If it had its way, all the iPhones that it churns out, would be created out of recycled materials.

The company set this lofty goal for itself in its 2017, environment responsibility report. Greenpeace on the other hand, thinks that the company needs to do more and while it praised the iPhone maker’s commitment to using renewable materials, also said that Apple should commit to creating devices that also last longer and are easier to repair.

In its report, the company said:

We’re going deeper to pioneer a closed-loop supply chain, where products are made using only renewable resources or recycled material to reduce the need to mine materials from the earth. That means continuing to invest in ways to recover materials from our products—like Liam, our line of disassembly robots—and encouraging our customers to return products through Apple Renew, our recycling program. And we’re launching projects and experiments that help us learn how to close loops. For example, we’ve melted down iPhone 6 aluminum enclosures recovered from Liam to make Mac mini computers for use in our factories, and we’re transitioning to 100 percent recycled tin solder on the main logic board of iPhone 6s.

And while that may not sound like, it actually is pretty important. Smartphones are made up of an incredible number of components, and it is notoriously difficult to separate the components from each other. Incredibly difficult! For instance, there are elements like Antimony, arsenic, boron, indium, and gallium inside the iPhone. Also included are graphite anodes and Silicon processors. All these obviously don’t case Mother Nature to jump up and down with joy when someone upgrades his/her iPhone and throws the old one away.

And hence Apple’s novel solution of using components derived from old smartphones into its new devices. The company has yet to figure out exactly how it is going to go about its mission however, it has taken cognizance of the need to reuse these materials and that is a victory all on its own. Apple said that it is now encouraging customers to recycle their old devices through Apple Renew.

And we’re piloting innovative new recycling techniques, like our line of disassembly robots, so we can put reclaimed materials to better use in new products. It’s an ambitious goal that will require many years of collaboration across multiple Apple teams, our suppliers, and specialty retailers—but our work is already under way.

While Greenpeace praised Apple’s efforts and called out to its competitors to follow suit, it also said that the company must do something to solve the issue at a fundamental level. Calling out attention to the fact that iPhones and other Apple products had a reputation for being harder to repair besides being more durable, the non-profit organization said that the company needed to work upon making its products easier to repair.

It also commented upon the stipulated, 3-year life Apple products supposedly have — stating that the company needed to work upon increasing this period.

In a statement about Apple’s initiatives, Greenpeace said:

This commitment, and Apple’s recent progress in transitioning its supply chain in Asia to renewable energy, puts it far ahead of others in the sector. Major IT brands such as Samsung, Huawei and Microsoft should quickly match Apple’s leadership, if they don’t want to risk falling even further behind.

Drawing comparison to Samsung’s recent commitment to refurbish and sell 4.3 million Note 7S  devices, Greenpeace said:

Apple’s announcement comes less than a month after Samsung’s commitment to refurbish and recycle 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7s recalled worldwide, sending a strong signal to Samsung and the rest of the sector that much greater innovation is possible.

And of course, there are benefits to playing it good too. For instance, People are becoming increasingly conscious of exactly what they are taking home with them. And a environment-friendly tag and Greenpeace’s endorsement could actually drive sales in the future and be good for the company in question’s public image as well. And yeah, the human race might call planet earth home for longer, this way.

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