The Recycled Facts. A look at Apple's latest gadget.
Let’s start with Apple’s opening statement ‘Apple believes that improving the environmental performance of our business starts with our products. The careful environmental management of our products throughout their life cycles includes controlling the quantity and type of materials used in their manufacture, improving their energy efficiency, and designing them for better recyclability.’
This sounds pretty convincing. They also go on to say ‘Greenhouse gas emissions have an impact on the planet’s balance of land, ocean, and air temperatures. Most of Apple’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions come from the production, transport, use, and recycling of its products. Apple seeks to minimize greenhouse gas emissions by setting stringent design-related goals for material and energy efficiency.’
The Apple Watch is split amongst the tech community, with many deeming it overpriced and superfluous, with others saying it complements the iPhone nicely. There have been issues with its strength and issues with its response to people with tattoos, but there are few issues with the environmental performance of the watch. It can boast Mercury, PVC and Beryllium free, an exterior case made from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic and a highly efficient power adapter.
Apple are always conscious about selling their products in small packaging and the Watch is no different. The Watch’s retail box contains over 35% recycled materials, and is a smaller box than competitors; this improves transport efficiency and reduces consumer waste.
What about when the Watch breaks or reaches its end of life? Will it be recycled? Well, Apple claim that ‘Through ultra-efficient design and the use of highly recyclable materials, Apple has minimized material waste at the product’s end of life. In addition, Apple offers and participates in various product take-back and recycling programs in 95 percent of the regions where Apple products are sold. All products are processed in the country or region in which they are collected.’ Taking all these into factor, you shouldn’t feel any green guilt for wearing the Apple Watch, however, do you really need one?