What’s Going On Here?
Apple has announced that 100% of their operations are powered by renewable energy, this includes shops, offices and the biiiiig old servers where they hold all that data on us. ????
But this tasty Apple news comes at a time when e-waste (laptops, mobile phones and electronic goods) are the world’s fastest growing waste problem. In 2016 the global sum was 43m tonnes – the weight of 4,500 Eiffel Towers!
What Does This Mean?
Last year Apple saved over 1.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by running on clean energy – the equivalent of taking more than 300,000 cars off the road. But it’s not all party time for the tech industry as there is a rather large waste problem, a proportion of which is ipads, ipods, imacs, iwatches, iphones and ilots-of-other-stuff.
Tech brands need to sell stuff to make dosh, so it is not in their interest to make batteries last or screens smash-resistant. There’s even an industry name for this – planned obsolescence. And sadly the process hurts not only the consumer but also the environment.
Why Should We Care?
Most electronic refuse ends up in landfill, incinerators or simply piles up unused in peoples’ homes. Just 20% is recycled.
This isn’t about apple bobbing or even Apple bashing, it’s about understanding the wider impact of each issue. Yes, this is great news, but there is still a huge amount of work retailers can do to make their supply chain more eco-friendly.
Some big brands are looking at this and many have signed up to the Basel Convention agreeing to cooperate to develop environmentally sound management of end-of-life mobile phones.
Got an old phone, laptop or monitor knocking about at home? Well, sell it! It is estimated that more than £40 billion worth of recoverable materials are binned every year… £40,000,000,000!!!
No dramas if the item is broken either – you can get dosh for damaged goods too.
If all else fails, or you’re feeling lazy/generous just hand it over to a charity. Most accept old electronic goods, whether they are working or not. They can raise valuable funds by passing them on to mobile phone recycling companies.