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Apple announced that they will stop mining materials for their products and start using 100% recycled materials instead. Their main reason for this major shift is because of the detrimental effect that electronics manufacturing has on the environment. They realize they are a massive contributor and are looking to change over the course of this year.

Their Detriment to the Environment

Apple sold over 40 million iPhones and 4 million Macs in just one quarter this year. Each device requires precious materials and metals that are not only hard to mine, but hard to find. The majority what makes up these products does not come from recycled materials. They do not recycle the materials in-house and instead, ship them out for recycling. All of these items end up in landfills where they are close to impossible to break down. However, Apple is making strides to change.

How They are Changing the Technology Industry

Apple’s VP of Environment told Vice that they do not know exactly how they are going to achieve this goal. However, they are determined to push the technology industry into the future by promoting and utilizing comprehensive recycling practices. Apple drafted a 2017 Environment Responsible Report and within it is an extensive list of what they have done to both track their impact and mitigate it.

Their Environmental  Report Tells All

To list a few of their improvement, in 2016 they have designed a training program for their supplier sites to switch to renewable energy. They are continuing to focus on this training program. They also want to power all of their facilities worldwide with 100% renewable energy. Apple data centers are already powered by 100% renewable energy. This means, as they say, that all of the functions on your phone run on 100% renewable energy as well. They call this “taking responsibility” for all activity completed on their devices.

The Future of Apple Materials

They ship the materials out to be recycled properly. They hope that to reduce their carbon footprint even more by simply reusing parts of the old products to make new ones. They call this a “closed-loop” supply chain.

Eventually, the recycling, shipping, manufacturing, and power supply needed to make the Apple products will be controlled by the company itself. They want to take “responsibility” for the products they make and ship. They hope this will reduce their carbon footprint an exponential amount, and keep it that way.

Sources: Apple, CNET