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Investigation: iPhone recycling, an Apple prank enhanced with greenwashing ?

© Apple

The iPhone recycling program called “Trade In”, signed by Apple, would not be the most efficient. It seems in fact that the capabilities of the Daisy robot, designed by the company to dismantle its mobiles, are quite limited. So much so that most of the devices in question would actually end up being crushed by subcontractors, before, all the same, certain metals are also recovered. In the end, the manufacturer integrates some under the hood of new smartphones. The technical sheet of the products concerned regularly mentions this. Recently, Cupertino also assured that cobalt would be fully recycled in all its batteries, by next year.

This new information, from a report signed by the magazine Bloomberg, is reminiscent of our file on the & #8217;automaton used by Apple to disassemble its iPhones. This would only be capable of attacking two hundred mobiles per hour, according to the file from our American colleagues. For comparison, the source assumes that nearly twenty-five thousand iPhones would be sold by the manufacturer in the same period of time, overall. Whether through authorized resellers, general stores or official stores.

The technical sheet of the iPhone 15 Pro gives pride of place to initiatives &#8220 ;green”

Despite everything, consulting the official technical sheet of the iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro still allows you to see that many reused materials are indeed present under the hood. This is for example the case of aluminum, completely recycled in the internal structure of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Ditto for the copper foil in the main motherboard and in the charger which allows wireless power via MagSafe. The latter is made possible in particular by the glass back of the mobile.

Apple also specifies that the packaging of the boxes containing the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max is made up of 99% fibers, including those from virgin wood coming from managed forests “ responsibly”. Good news, given, among other things, that nearly 20% of the Amazon rainforest has now disappeared. The green lung of our planet, shared between nine countries including France via Guyana, would produce 6 to 5% of the oxygen we breathe every day.

More reliable alternatives already exist

Greenwashing, very little for you? Please note that there are smartphone brands that make responsible production their main focus. This is particularly the case for the manufacturer of the Fairphone 5, a device with a large 6.46 inch screen compared to 6.1 inches for an iPhone 15 Pro, 6.8 inches for a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra or 6.7 inches for an iPhone 15 Pro Max. The front panel is here protected by Gorilla Glass 5.

The Fairphone 5 assembly plants would be powered 100% by ;#8217;renewable energy, and the battery has as a net advantage the possibility of being changed by the user at any time. For comparison, you often have to pay several hundred euros to obtain a new battery from resellers authorized by Apple.

Other brands offer more durable mobiles, like Shift or Teracube. But often, performance is at a discount compared to the competition. Buying an upgraded smartphone therefore presents itself as a rather wise alternative, in fact Apple also offers it with its refurb store. Otherwise, many sellers like Amazon or Fnac also call on companies to revalue our mobiles before putting them back on sale, often with a screen and battery “like new”.

  • Apple recycles iPhones, and regularly promotes them
  • In the facts, most iPhones would end up crushed
  • Brands like Fairphone or Teracube also offer more “durable”

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116