DaisySource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple's head of environment Lisa Jackson has interviewed with Reuters.
  • She spoke of Apple's goal to become a "closed-loop" manufacturer.
  • It would mean that Apple will cease to rely on mining for its materials.

Apple's head of environment Lisa Jackson has revealed to Reuters that Apple aims to become a "closed-loop" manufacturer that no longer needs to rely on mining for its materials.

A Reuters report revealed the progress of Apple's robot Daisy, which can disassemble some 200 iPhones per hour. According to the report:

Apple Inc APPL.O is trying to change the way electronics are recycled with a robot that disassembles its iconic iPhone so that minerals can be recovered and reused, but rising global demand for electronics means new mines will still be needed by manufacturers.

The Cupertino, California-based company says the robot is part of its plan to become a "closed-loop" manufacturer that does not rely on the mining industry, an aggressive goal that some industry analysts have said is impossible.

Some remain sceptical about Apple's lofty goals, in particular, iFixit chief exec Kyle Wiens, who said:

"There's this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it's not possible."

Hower Tom Butler, President of the International Council on Mining and Metals described Apple's position as "enviable" and that they could indeed pull it off. He questioned however whether other players in the industry would be able to follow suit.

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Jackson reassured miners that they had nothing to fear from Apple's goals because they were not in direct competition with each other. The report further notes that mining actually looks set to benefit from increasing demands for certain materials as the demand for electric vehicles continues to rise.

Becoming "closed-loop" certainly seems ambitious, but imagine a world in which every Apple product you bought was made up solely of materials from older, recycled tech. Now that would be something.

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