Resources

Rethinking materials.

Mining less from the earth.
And more from old devices.

There are a lot of valuable materials inside old devices that are perfect for making new products. The challenge is that recovering them is extraordinarily complex and hard to do efficiently. So we’ve put our passion for innovation into piloting new recycling technologies. With advancements like Daisy, our newest disassembly robot, we can recover more materials and at a higher quality.

Ultimately, we want to make products using only renewable resources or recycled material. And we want to return an equivalent amount of material to the market, to be used by us or others. Our ambition is that one day we’ll extract nothing from the earth.

Meet Daisy, the ultimate
recycling robot.

Our newest disassembly robot, Daisy, is the most innova­tive and efficient way to reclaim more of the valuable materials stored in iPhone. Daisy can take apart up to 200 iPhone devices an hour, removing and sorting components, so we can recover materials that traditional recyclers can’t — and at a higher quality. For example, Daisy makes it possible to recover rare earths, tungsten and Apple‑specific aluminium alloys. Then we can use these materials to make new products or return them to the market, reducing the need to mine more resources from the earth.

Daisy not only yields more, but also teaches us more about what’s possible. For example, building this system led to a solution for recycling specific aluminium alloys without introducing contaminants that compromise quality. And we’ve successfully piloted ways to recover and reuse cobalt from our lithium-ion batteries and the rare earth elements found in magnets.

Materials Daisy has the potential to recover for every 100,000 iPhone devices:

  • Aluminium 1,900kg
  • Gold 0.97kg
  • Silver 7.5kg
  • Rare Earths 11kg
  • Tungsten 93kg
  • Copper 710kg
  • Palladium 0.10kg
  • Tin 42kg
  • Cobalt 770kg
  • Tantalum 1.8kg

A durable device is a greener device.

When products can be used longer, fewer resources need to be extracted from the earth to make new ones. So we assess all our products in our Reliability Testing Lab, using rigorous testing methods that simulate customers’ experiences with their devices. For example, we analyse how devices stand up to extreme heat and cold, exposure to water and everyday chemicals, and scratch tests from materials like denim and metals like coins. All new materials, including recycled materials, are tested extensively to make sure they meet our performance and durability standards. In the event a product does require repair, we have programmes like AppleCare and Apple-certified repair services to help our customers use their devices longer.
We tumble Apple Watch or iPhone devices with objects often carried in handbags or backpacks to see if they scratch or their structure is compromised.

We’re using more recycled and responsibly sourced materials in our packaging.

We’re constantly looking for ways to use more recycled and responsibly sourced paper, to create technologies that use paper more efficiently, and to use alternatives to plastic. In fiscal year 2017, 100% of the paper in our packaging was from responsibly managed forests, controlled wood or recycled sources. We’re replacing some of the plastic components with materials like bamboo fibre and bagasse, a by-product of sugar cane manufacturing. And we’ve reached our goal to protect and create enough sustainably managed forests around the world to cover our current paper use and produce fibre for generations. The results are more beautiful than ever — for our packaging and for the planet.

Protecting sustainable forests to cover the virgin paper we use.

Yearly production from our forest conservation projects is now greater than the amount of virgin fibre used in Apple’s product packaging. In partnership with The Conservation Fund, we’ve protected 36,000 acres of sustainable forest in the Eastern United States. And in China, we’ve helped to improve the management of more than 750,000 acres of forest in partnership with WWF.
Sustainably managed forest, Brunswick County, North Carolina

We hold ourselves accountable for every drop of water we use.

We’re constantly seeking ways to conserve water and discharge wastewater safely. For example, we’ve installed sophisticated sensor and control devices in our landscaping in Santa Clara Valley, California, saving about 59.8 million litres per year. In our data centres, we pinpoint areas of use, detect leakage and develop better ways to prevent waste. And we’re increasing our use of rainwater or recycled water for non-potable purposes.

In 2013, we established the Clean Water Programme to help our suppliers adopt more mindful water conservation strategies. Through water surveys, data analysis, employee training and technical support, we helped our suppliers conserve more than 18.9 billion litres of water in 2017 alone, increasing average wastewater reuse to 37% across 106 sites. And since many of our suppliers also build components for other companies, our work has reduced the water footprint of non-Apple products too.

More questions? More answers.

Read the FAQ

Apple GiveBack

Good for you.
Good for the planet.

Trade in your eligible device for an Apple Store Gift Card or have it recycled for free. We’ll make a donation to Conservation International for every device we receive.*

See how it works