Apple boasts of ‘highest ever’ use of recycled content in 2021

US technology giant Apple has unveiled a recycling machine which it says uses a “ground-breaking” approach to improve material recovery compared to “traditional” electronics recycling.

The company released details of the machine, dubbed Taz, in its 2022 Environmental Progress Report, published on 19 April.

The report also states that nearly 20% of all material used in Apple products in 2021 was recycled, “the highest ever use of recycled content.”

Apple says Taz uses “new shredder-like technology” to separate magnets from audio modules and recover more rare earth elements.

Engineers and experts developed Taz at Apple’s Material Recovery Lab in Austin, Texas, where a pilot machine is in operation. Apple described Taz as “the latest in a series of recycling advancements.”

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, said: “Our rapid pace of innovation is already helping our teams use today’s products to build tomorrow’s, and as our global supply chain transitions to clean power, we are charting a path for other companies to follow.”


Within the report, Apple says 59% of all the aluminium it shipped in 2021 came from recycled sources.

The company says it has made “significant progress” toward its goal to eliminate plastics from its packaging by 2025, with plastics accounting for just 4% of its packaging in 2021. Apple claims to have reduced plastic in its packaging by 75% since 2015.

Apple also says its products included 45% recycled rare earth elements, 30% recycled tin, and 13% recycled cobalt in 2021.

And, the company says that, “for the first time in any Apple product”, recycled gold featured in the plating of the main logic board and wire in the front camera and the rear cameras of iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro.

To achieve this “milestone”, Apple says it “pioneered industry-leading levels of traceability” to build a gold supply chain of exclusively recycled content.


Apple also published details of two robots it has developed to improve recycling, alongside Taz.

The company says it has “further expanded the capabilities” of its patented iPhone disassembly robot, Daisy, to take apart 23 models of iPhone, and offered to license those patents to other companies and researchers free of charge.

An additional robot, Dave, disassembles Taptic Engines, helping to recover valuable rare earth magnets, tungsten, and steel.


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