Apple plans to use fully recycled materials for its products and scrap its mining projects.
Apple now uses robots — robots they call “Liam” — for scrap recycling of minerals to be eventually transformed into Apple products. From tungsten metal, which is twice the stiffness and density of steel, to aluminum and cobalt, these Liams are able to scrap millions of phones each year for these materials.
These recycling robots can actually take apart 2.4 million cell phones a year and recover a tremendous amount of resources doing so.
“We’re actually doing something we rarely do, which is announce a goal before we’ve completely figured out how to do it,” said Lisa Jackson, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency and current Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple. “So we’re a little nervous, but we also think it’s really important, because as a sector we believe it’s where technology should be going.”
Gary Cook, Greenspace senior Information Technology Analyst praised the company for its environmentally conscious decision:
“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. While transitioning to 100% recycled materials is critical to reducing the sector’s footprint, it is also fundamental for Apple and other major IT companies to design products that last, are easy to repair, and recyclable at their end of life.”
Going 100% recyclable is an ambitious goal that, as an Apple spokesperson states, “will require many years of collaboration across multiple Apple teams.”
According to The Guardian, like Apple, Walmart also plans on going green and hopes to eliminate one billion tons of carbon dioxide from its supply chain over the next 13 years. Many environmental leaders are skeptical about these organizations’ large promises, but the environment and world certainly will be better if they see their promises through.