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How Apple is trying to reduce e-waste with its new iPhones

How Apple is trying to reduce e-waste with its new iPhones
[Photo: courtesy of Apple]

After completing a switch to 100% green energy earlier this year, Apple is trying to pack more renewable materials into its latest iPhones.

The new iPhone Xs and iPhone Xr will used recycled tin in their logic boards, preventing 10,000 tons of tin ore from being mined per year. The phones will also use 35% post-consumer recycled plastic in their speaker enclosures, and 32% bio-based plastic for the frame around the cover glass.

“We hope to one day eliminate our need to mine new materials from the earth,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, said during a press event on Wednesday.

Jackson also said that Apple wants users to own their devices for longer, perhaps alluding to the “batterygate” scandal that arose late last year when Apple admitted that it slows down users’ phones over time. Although Apple said this throttling is supposed to prolong the life of iPhones by making their batteries last longer, the company introduced a way to disable the throttling and launched a low-cost battery replacement program that runs through the end of this year. Optimizations in iOS 12, which launches next week, are supposed to make older phones run faster as well.

When users do decide to replace their iPhones, Apple will recycle them for free and offer trade-in credit if the phone has any value.

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