As of April 19th, Apple has pledged to incorporate more recycled materials into their technology devices and products. Apple has released new details of this said pledge, pairing with their win of producing products consisting of nearly 20% recycled content in 2021 – their highest ever usage. They have more than doubled the usage of recycled tungsten, rare earth elements, and cobalt across the production of all products. Also, for the first time they are introducing certified recycled gold into this ingredient chain. 

A few eco-friendly wins in 2021 –

  1. 59% of aluminum in shipment use was from recycled sources
  2. Many products feature 100% recycled aluminum on the enclosure
  3. 4% of their packaging is plastic – reducing their plastic usage by 75% since 2015

2021 Apple products included – 

  1. 45% certified recycled rare earth elements
  2. 30% certified recycled tin
  3. 13% certified recycled cobalt
  4. The first-time inclusion of certified recycled gold – fused into the internal board and camera wiring

Continuing on with their recent pledge, Apple is committed to reducing the necessity for mining expeditions to extract the needed materials. Instead, recovering more materials, as in collecting recycled, discarded, or returned items, can support their reduction goal. For instance, recyclers can obtain the same quantities of copper and gold that would typically be extracted from about 2,000 tons of mined rock. Through refurbishment, Apple plans on expanding their products lifespan – they sent 12.2 million items to new owners in 2021. 

In the latest recycling advancements, Taz has been introduced, a new machine that uses shredder-like technology to separate magnets from audio modules, as well as recover rare earth elements. Next advancement is Daisy, a disassembly robot used to take apart the 23 models of the IPhone and individualize and categorize each part to in turn be up-cycled. Finally, Dave, another disassembly robot that helps recover valuable magnets such as tungsten and steel. 

Apple has also released their 2022 Environmental Impact Report that details their reflection on their climate change impact, progress in resources, and engagement in smarter chemistry make-up for devices. Many of their newer products also contain interactive actions to participate in Earth Day through donations, podcasts, and fitness trackers.