Apple Devices

We all admire the elegance of Apple products… iPads, iPhones and other devices are getting prettier and thinner, but are they easy to recycle?

Apple will definitely do its best to make you think that you are doing the right thing for the environment when you buy one of its products. Did you check?

What Apple tells you

Apple recently launched their Renew Program, which consists in paying you for giving your old electronic devices to Apple for recycling purposes. In exchange of your old iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices, you can get Apple gift cards of various amounts depending on the model and conditions of the product.

Now, that sounds great! You can buy your new iPhone with a discount and you did the right thing by recycling the old one.

Where the paradox lies

But wait… you’re not entirely right. Recycling is always the right move when the technology is outdated or not functioning. But by giving you money back, Apple is encouraging you to buy more, and more often. Think for a second… did you really need this new iPhone? If the answer is no, that’s because Apple tricked you into buying a new one. And this process is actually counterproductive for recycling.

A study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology revealed that the recycling option may signal to consumers that it is acceptable to consume as long as they recycle the used product. And that’s a major problem, because not everything is recyclable in your iPhone or iPad, and most parts are absolutely not indefinitely recyclable.

“Consumer demand for small devices has helped create a system where products are recycled via shredding, which is very much what it sounds like. Gadgets are essentially pulverized down to their smallest bits, after which relevant parts are scavenged for repurposing,” the Huffington Post reports.

Apple devices

In the process of making everything smaller and thinner, Apple and other manufacturer have substituted recyclable material like screws for glue. In order to open the iPad to get to the battery and recyclable parts, it is necessary to heat up the glass to melt the glue. But LCD can be damaged by heat and cause the release of toxic chemicals.

“The Apple Pencil, a $99 stylus for the iPad Pro, has a battery that simply cannot be removed or replaced, which basically makes the unit impossible to recycle responsibly,” Kyle Wiens, creator of iFixit, told the Huffington Post.

By advertising itself as sustainable and carrying about the environment, Apple attracts environmentally minded consumer but forgets to tell them about all other non-ecofriendly practices.

What Apple is doing to make it better

But Apple isn’t all bad. To its credit, it has been at the forefront of technology industry efforts to use fewer, and greener materials in the construction of electronic devices.

Apple also just launched an iRobot called Liam. Liam is the master of iPhone recycling and it looks pretty awesome!


At ICT, we’re all for anything that keeps electronics out of landfills. That’s why we tailor our electronics recycling solutions to fit each company’s unique needs.
At ICT, transparency is key. Every technological device is processed by R2 certified staff in the ICT facility in the Boston area. ICT knows how important trust is and values its relationships with its customers. ICT cares about preserving our planet and helps companies all over the country to recycle E-Waste and protect their data.

Author Bio: Audrey Adam is the marketing manager at ICT. She has a background in journalism and blog writing.


The Huffington Post

Photo credits: Apple Products, Tim Peacock; Apple Computer, Creative Commons License.
Video credit: Liam, Apple



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