Apple to use more recycled materials with new Taz robot’s help

Recycled materials - Recycling Apple

Almost 20 percent of what is used to make the company’s products in 2021 were from recycling.

With Earth Day ahead, Apple has released its 2022 Environmental Progress Report, showing its latest efforts to use recycled materials, as well as to reduce and to reuse overall.

The 128-page report came with a number of announcements regarding Apple’s environmental efforts.

The company used the report to introduce its new vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson. It also announced that recycled materials comprised almost 20 percent of what was shipped last year. At the same time the company also “more than doubled” its use of tungsten, cobalt and rare earth elements that had undergone recycling.

More precisely, Apple products used 45 percent rare earth elements that had undergone recycling, 30 percent in the case of tin, and 13 percent for cobalt. Moreover, recycled gold was used in the company’s products for the first time in 2021.That said, the company has been recycling that precious metal for a number of years.

Recycled materials - Discarded Smartphones

Recycled materials have become a growing priority for many electronics companies worldwide.

“We also know that a greener future must be a more equitable one,” said Jackson regarding the Impact Accelerator and Power for Impact strategies, which place investments into next generation innovations while supporting underserved communities.

A new part of Apple’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, to eliminate its plastic packaging, and to develop smarter design and build programs is Taz, a new robot Apple has only recently unveiled.

That robot uses “shredder-like technology” for the separation of magnets from audio modules. In that way Taz is able to recover rare earth elements and other materials that would be missed when using conventional recovery machines. Taz will be working with other disassembly robots Apple is using, Daisy and Dave, to help to further improve the overall recovery rates for recycled materials. Their combined efforts not only help to boost recovery but also reduce the overall cost of recycling when compared to purchasing new rare metals.

The report also outlined more of the company’s progress for achieving carbon neutrality in corporate emissions, having slashed them by 40 percent. Apple funded 10 clean energy projects and for the second year in a row, it received the EPA’s Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award.

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