Apple released an ad claiming that their iPhone is zero waste, which sounds great, but it’s not accurate. Even though the company has been working hard to build a better world, announcing that they’re now run by 100 percent renewable energy, presently, it’s impossible for a smartphone to be made out of zero waste.
According to Mashable, everything about smartphones is damaging the environment, from their business model to their materials, no matter how clean and green Apple is. Smartphones contain precious minerals that are in limited supply on the planet, including gold, cobalt and copper. Some of these precious rocks, according to a Yale study, are irreplaceable, meaning that tech might have some troubles in the future.
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Materials from smartphones are really hard to recycle, especially from iPhones. Most devices from Apple are built with proprietary screws that require special tools to open. That’s why Apple charges you an arm and a leg whenever you want to switch batteries or change a cracked screen. It’s insane that Apple is claiming to be “zero waste,” when they’re one of the companies that make recycling harder than it already is.
Another thing that perpetuates waste is the current smartphone business model, which is all about short term performance. Most smartphones are designed to have short lifespans, with companies releasing new and upgraded devices every year.
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Where does all this waste go? To your drawer? Best case scenario, your old phone will end up in a store where it’ll be refurbished and resold. Still, new phones won’t stop coming out and dozens of minerals would have already been wasted. It’s an endless cycle of waste that Apple would like to hide from you with a cute ad.