Apple outlines environmental vision, promising free recycling for all iPhones, iPads and Macs, with the prospect of a gift card as a reward
Apple will recycle any of its products free of charge if it is brought to one of its retail stores and could even reward users with a gift card as part of the firm’s campaign to reduce its impact on the environment.
Any iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iPod can be brought to an Apple Store around the world, while the company will also hold special recycling events where it’ll accept old devices made by other companies. Additionally, users can send in any mobile phone via mail.
“We aim to create not just the best products in the world, but the best products for the world. We have a long way to go, but we are proud of our progress,” says Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president of environmental initiatives and former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency between 2009 and 2013. “We believe we must be accountable for every Apple product at every stage of its use.”
Apple says efficient recycling is central to its pledge to reduce its carbon emissions and use of environmentally harmful materials, with an acknowledgement that there is a high chance that e-waste can end up in a developing country, harming the local environment.
It says that its products are designed to be built with cleaner materials that reduce waste, adding that ongoing software updates and long-lasting batteries ensure its devices can be used for longer. However Apple has come in for criticism for the fact that most of its products cannot be upgraded – for instance batteries often cannot be replaced when they wear out. This reduces their lifespan and adds to e-waste, critics say. In 2012, the company fell out with the EPEAT labelling scheme and its products were briefly banned in San Francisco.
“We’re still the only company in our industry whose data centres are powered by 100 percent renewable energy and whose entire product line not only meets but far exceeds strict energy star guidelines,” it boasts, claiming that although it still has some way to go, its carbon emissions per product are dropping despite it manufacturing and shipping more products than ever before.
Greenpeace, which has been a vocal critic of Apple’s past energy policy, recently called Apple the most improved company in the environment activists’ recent ‘Clicking Clean’ report, praising its commitment to renewables.
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