Apple to recycle customers’ old devices for free in environmental promotion

22 Apr 2014

E-waste image via Wikimedia Commons

Apple will allow customers to send back their old Apple products to the company for free in a bid to promote greater recycling among the technology sector.

Apple revealed the effort to coincide with this year’s Earth Day. The company is widely considered the best one on the planet in terms of environmental responsibility, with a recent Greenpeace report giving it a score of 100pc for adopting renewable energy technologies and recycling efforts.

For customers who send back working devices that can be sold on again, they will receive a gift card for use on newer Apple products.

“What the company wants to do is use all our innovation and all of our expertise to make the planet more secure and make the environment better,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice-president of environmental initiatives.

As the amount of technological devices consumers use on a daily basis grows and newer devices enter the market, the amount of phones that are simply thrown away has increased dramatically, so much so that the thrown-away devices now have their own term: e-waste.

The most recent studies on e-waste has recently estimated that between now and 2017, the amount of electronic devices by tonnage will grow by 33pc from 54m tonnes to 72m tonnes.

Four of Apple’s data centres in the United States are powered by renewable energy sources, particularly solar, putting it ahead of many other technology companies.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic