Apple has announced new details about the increased use of recycled content across its products. The company has included recycled certified gold in its production process for the first time and has more than doubled its use of recycled tungsten, rare earth elemental series and cobalt. In 2021, about 20 percent of all materials used in Apple products were recycled. This rate represents the highest rate of using recycled content to date.
Apple announced this progress, new details on recycling innovation and clean energy in its 2022 Environmental Progress Report.
The company also shared new ways to help customers celebrate Earth Day. These ways include supporting the Wildlife Fund using Apple Pay. With educational resources, curated content, and engaging events across all platforms, Apple customers can take advantage of the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature wherever they are, learn about important issues like climate change, and support causes and communities that work to protect the planet.
“At this time when people around the world come together to celebrate Earth Day, we are making serious progress in our work to combat the climate crisis and to be able to produce our products without taking anything from the world one day.” “The fast pace of innovation we create is already helping our teams build tomorrow’s products using today’s products. As our global supply chain transitions to clean energy, we are laying the foundations for a path that other companies will follow.”
Apple is leading innovation in recycling and sourcing materials to drive industry-wide change. Apple today introduced Taz, its newest innovation in recycling, to help recycling partners build on this momentum around the world. Taz is a machine that leverages a groundbreaking approach to improve material recovery from traditional electronics recycling.
In 2021, 59 percent of all aluminum used by Apple in its products came from recycled sources. 100 percent recycled aluminum was used in the chassis of many products. Apple also made significant progress towards the company’s goal of eliminating plastic in packaging by 2025, by using plastic in only 4 percent of product packaging in 2021. Since 2015, Apple has reduced the use of plastic in its packaging by 75 percent.
In addition, in 2021 Apple products included:
- 45 percent recycled certified rare earth elemendollar series: This is Apple’s devicedollars Recycled rare earth elemendollar represents a significant increase since it started using the series.
- 30 percent recycled certified tin: The new iPhone, iPad, AirPods and Mac devices use 100 percent recycled tin to solder on the yellow motherboards.
- 13 percent recycled certified cobalt: 13 percent of the certified recycled cobalt used in iPhone batteries is broken down into components by Apple’s recycling robot Daisy and brought back to the market.
- Certified recycled gold: For the first time in any Apple product, this material is used in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models, both in the motherboard coatings and in the wires of the front and rear cameras. To achieve this milestone, Apple pioneered industry-leading levels of traceability, creating a gold supply chain that uses only recycled content.
Recovering more material for use in future products helps reduce mining. From just one ton of iPhone components broken down by Apple’s recycling robodollaryellow, recyclers can recover as much gold and copper as companydollarserin would normally extract from 2,000 tons of mined rock. Apple is also committed to extending the lifespan of its products through renewal. In 2021, Apple shipped 12.2 million devices and accessories to new owners for reuse, extending the lifespan of these products and reducing the need for future mining operations. As a result, Apple aims to use only renewable or recyclable materials in its products. This target, announced in 2017, also laid the foundations for the company’s way of designing and providing materials.
Taz, a machine that uses a new technology similar to that in shredders to separate magnets from sound modules and reclaim more rare earth elements, is the latest in a series of advances Apple has pioneered in recycling. In addition, the company developed the features of the patendollarsi iPhone disassembly robot Daisy to disassemble 23 iPhone models, giving other companies and researchers the opportunity to use this patendollarserin license free of charge. Another robot that breaks down Taptic Engines into components, Dave, uses magnets containing a series of rare earth elements, recovering valuable materials such as tungsten and steel.