Apple Announces Significant Increase in Use of Recycled Materials

50 percent jump over last year

We all know the ever-increasing number of gadgets in our lives is doing the planet no favors, so it's nice to see any progress in a direction toward sustainability. 

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of said gadgets, Apple, just announced statistics regarding its recent use of sustainable recycled materials, as revealed in a company press release. According to that release, 18 percent of the materials used to manufacture its fiscal 2021 products were recycled or renewed. That’s a 50 percent jump for the iPhone maker from 2020 when recycled materials were only about 12 percent. 

Apple Recycled

Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash

Additionally, eight new products released featured at least 20 percent recycled materials, including the company’s first use of recycled gold as part of the internal components of the iPhone 13. Apple also "more than doubled" recycled variants of rare earth minerals like cobalt and tungsten throughout 2021. 

There’s also the matter of plastics. The tech giant announced it has nearly eliminated plastic from its packaging, as it now makes up just four percent of this packaging, with the new iPhone line getting rid of plastic altogether. They set a goal of zero percent plastic use by 2025. 

Of course, Apple’s revenue and overall sales skyrocketed in 2021, with nearly 100 billion in sales over 2020. In other words, this increase in production could have offset the aforementioned environmental gains. 

If you really want to dive into these statistics, check out Apple’s annual environmental progress report, which was also released today. 

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