Apple is releasing new details on the increased use of recycled content across its products as the company moves toward its goal to become carbon-neutral by 2030. In addition, the company introduced certified recycled gold and more than doubled the use of recycled tungsten, rare earth elements, and cobalt.

According to its 2022 Environmental Progress Report, nearly 20% of all material used in Apple products in 2021 was recycled, the highest-ever use of recycled content. This report is available a few days before the company celebrates another Earth Day.

“As people around the world join in celebrating Earth Day, we are making real progress in our work to address the climate crisis and to one day make our products without taking anything from the earth,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “Our rapid pace of innovation is already helping our teams use today’s products to build tomorrow’s, and as our global supply chain transitions to clean power, we are charting a path for other companies to follow.”

According to the company, in 2021, 59% of all the aluminum Apple shipped in its products came from recycled sources, with many products featuring 10% recycled aluminum in the enclosure. Apple has also made progress toward the company’s goal to eliminate plastics from its packaging by 2025, with plastics accounting for just 4% of packaging in 2021. Since 2015, Apple has reduced plastic in its packaging by 75%.

The company also highlights some other achievements as well:

  • 4% certified recycled rare earth elements, a significant increase since Apple introduced recycled rare earth elements in its devices. 
  • 30% certified recycled tin, with all new iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Mac devices featuring 100 percent recycled tin in the solder of their main logic boards.
  • 13% certified recycled cobalt, used in iPhone batteries that can be disassembled by Apple’s recycling robot Daisy and returned to the market. 
  • Certified recycled gold, featured — for the first time in any Apple product — in the plating of the main logic board and wire in the front camera and the rear cameras of iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. To achieve this milestone, Apple pioneered industry-leading levels of traceability to build a gold supply chain of exclusively recycled content.

You can check the full report here.

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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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