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Apple Says Removing Chargers from iPhone and Watch Boxes Saved Tons of Copper, Plastic and Zinc

Image of Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max used for representation.

Image of Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max used for representation.

Earlier in July 2020, Apple had unveiled its plan to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030.

Apple has announced that its decision to remove the charger (power adapter) from the iPhone and Apple Watch packaging last year has had a positive impact on the environment despite facing flak from experts. According to the Apple micro-website dedicated to its eco-friendly initiatives, the company says it was able to save nearly a million (861,000 to be precise) metric tons of “certain materials" such as plastic, copper, tin, and zinc (exact time frame remains unclear). Notably, smaller packaging now allows the company to ship 70 percent more boxes per pallet, it notes. The environment-dedicated website also includes Apple’s latest Environmental Progress Report that provides statistics and other environmental-related developments. The company, in the report, notes its three-fold strategy to tackle eco-problems: climate change, resources, and smarter chemistry.

Speaking over the removal of power adapters from boxes, the company says, “Since removing them from iPhone and Apple Watch packaging last year, we’ve avoided mining a significant amount of materials from the earth, and we’ve eliminated the emissions that come from processing and transporting them."

Apple adds that leaving out power adapters “was a bold change" and a “necessary one" for the planet. It further claims that it has been making products with “more recycled materials" and working to reduce the amount of energy these devices use. For instance, the newly launched M1-enabled Apple Mac mini seemingly reduced energy consumption by 34 percent. The Apple Environmental Report 2021 notes that by switching to recycled and hydro-smelted aluminium, its carbon emissions associated with aluminium have decreased by 72 percent. Moreover, it notes that some of the cloud-based and AI services like iCloud, Siri and iMessage are running completely on sustainable energy.

Earlier in July 2020, Apple had unveiled its plan to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030. It essentially aims to use only recycled good for manufacturing products and use renewable-source of energy at plants and other centres.

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