Apple has just taken another step toward sustainability by removing 600 metric tonnes of plastic from its supply chain.

Gadgets Technology

Apple recently demonstrated that even the tiniest of tweaks may have a considerable impact. If you’ve already purchased one of the new iPhone 13 handsets, you’ll note that the retail boxes are devoid of plastic packaging. The plastic film has been replaced with paper tabs on the back of the box that must be taken away to open it. The manufacturer claims that this will save 600 metric tonnes of plastic during the product’s lifetime.

Sure, this isn’t going to improve your life right away. But consider the environmental consequence of removing 600 metric tonnes of plastic. Every year, Apple sells millions of iPhones, so even a minor tweak like this makes a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Not only that but there’s more. Apple is also attempting to change the way materials are acquired and handled to reduce its environmental impact and emissions. The corporation is progressively progressing toward a future in which all of its goods are created entirely of renewable and recycled resources. The ultimate goal is to eliminate all reliance on mining and completely alter the supply chain as we know it.

Apple has boosted the use of recycled content in packaging, in addition to the paper tab on retail boxes. According to the company, 95 percent of the packaging is fibre-based, with around 67 percent recycled stuff. In addition, all of the virgin wood fibre used in the packaging originates from ethically managed forests. Apple’s retail bags are composed of 80 percent recycled fibre as well.

A circular supply chain is one of the new supply chains that Apple is considering. The material recycled from one device is used for a new one in this circular supply chain concept, ensuring that no new materials are introduced into the system, obviating the need to buy or mine additional. Apple has taken a step in this direction by examining the social, global, and environmental effects of each of the 45 elements and raw materials used in its products. Following this, material impact profiles were created to assist the company in identifying a list of priority materials for the first phase of its strategy.

The list comprises 14 materials that account for roughly 90% of Apple’s total mass supplied.

The company concentrates on four key areas: procuring recycled and renewable resources, economically utilising these materials, ensuring product lifespan, and recovering items at the end of their life cycle. Recently, Apple has been emphasising the final component of this four-point strategy. If you acquired a new iPhone and were setting it up with an older iPhone, your older phone will ask you, “What’s next for this iPhone?” once the process is complete.

“Get step-by-step instructions to prepare this iPhone to be sold, given away, or traded in through Apple Trade In,” says the prompt. After that, you have two options: “Get Started” or “Don’t Erase this iPhone.” As a result, Apple hopes that you don’t just throw away your old iPhone and instead recycle it or trade it in so that it may be reused.

Apple has already begun employing recycled materials in several of its products, such as the iPhone 13 series and product packaging. The new iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, including those used in the MagSafe, 100 percent recycled tin and solder on the main logic board, and 100 percent recycled tungsten in the solder of the battery management unit. This is the first time Apple’s battery management system has been made entirely of recyclable materials. The plating of the main logic board and the wiring in the front and back cameras are likewise wholly made of recycled gold in the new iPhone 13 series.

And Apple has a hand in all of this. Daisy is Apple’s first disassembly robot, which disassembles iPhones for recycling to recover the materials within. “Daisy disassembled one metric tonne of iPhone main circuit boards, flexes, and camera modules, which had the equivalent amount of gold and copper as 150 metric tonnes of mined earth. These materials find their way back into the wider market, allowing us and others to utilise recycled resources in future products “According to Apple. Daisy now has two operational units, one in the United States and the other in the Netherlands.