Nearly 20 per cent of all material used in Apple products in 2021 was recycled, the highest-ever use of recycled content, the company has announced.
For the first time, certified recycled gold was used 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 said it pioneered industry-leading levels of traceability to build a gold supply chain of exclusively recycled content.
“As people around the world join in celebrating Earth Day (April 22), 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.
Apple also announced its newest recycling innovation, Taz, a machine that uses a groundbreaking approach to improve material recovery from traditional electronics recycling.
In 2021, 59 per cent of all the aluminum Apple shipped in its products came from recycled sources, with many products featuring 100 percent recycled aluminum in the enclosure.
Since 2015, the company has reduced plastic in its packaging by 75 per cent.
Apple products in 2021 included 45 per cent certified recycled rare earth elements, a significant increase since the company introduced recycled rare earth elements in its devices.
The products had 30 per cent 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.
They also featured 13 per cent certified recycled cobalt, used in iPhone batteries that can be disassembled by Apple’s recycling robot Daisy and returned to market.
Apple said it is also committed to extending the lifetime of its products through refurbishment.
In 2021, Apple sent 12.2 million devices and accessories to new owners for reuse, extending their lifetime and reducing the need for future mining.
“Ultimately, Apple aims to use only renewable or recyclable materials in its products — a goal announced in 2017 that has charted the company’s pathway on design and material sourcing,” it said.