Apple follows strict procedures for recycling old iPhones, and once a phone is slated to be destroyed, Apple does not save or reuse any components, according to Bloomberg.
Apple and its recycling partners “shred” old devices to prevent real parts from ending up in fake Apple products, but the company is working to be able to reuse old components in the future, according to Lisa Jackson, Apple’s head of environmental issues.
Other companies do allow used components to be salvaged and resold. For example, camera modules from smartphones can be reused in drones or Surface tablet screens can be repurposed for taxi cabs, according to one of Apple’s recycling partners.
While Apple’s supply chain is frequently praised for its ability to build iPhones, its ability to recycle and refurbish old devices will only become more important in the coming years.
According to the report, the electronics recycling business works on a multi-year cycle, setting goals based on the number of devices sold seven years ago. This year, Apple will set its goals based on 2009, in which Apple sold 9 million iPhones.
In 2015, Apple sold nearly 215 million iPhones, which means by 2022, its recycling program will need to handle significantly more volume than it already does, which is substantial. In 2014, Apple collected more than 40,000 tons of old electronics.
On Tuesday, Apple issued its first-ever “green bond.” Funds raised from it can only be used for environmental uses, including recycling projects.
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