Apple Targets 100 Percent Recycled iPhones In Environmental Push

Apple is reportedly opting for micro-LED displays instead of OLED, starting with the Watch Series 3 that's expected to launch later this year.

Tech giant Apple has pledged to "go deeper" in developing new products that promote the circular economy by using only renewable resources or recycled materials that negate the need to mine materials.

It has focused on a different way of producing aluminum which has resulted in the iPhone 7 enclosure using 27 percent less of the material than the iPhone 6, and emitting 60 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. Apple's "Liam" robots, used to dismantle phones and sort their components to increase the number and quality of components that can be reclaimed, are now capable of dismantling 2.4 million phones a year, a number far, far lower than what Apple sells.

Apple has released the latest edition of its annual environmental responsibility report, covering the 2016 fiscal year. That's an ambitious goal.

In addition, the source also reveals that Apple is now testing a new type of screen that will give the new iPhone model a look that covers most of the front portion of the device. It might not be cheaper than using new materials right out of the gate, but over time as new methods to improve efficiency are discovered, Apple might one day be able to build devices out of mostly recycled material for less than it would cost to buy new components. A year ago the company unveiled Liam, a robot that disassembles old phones so their parts can be reused. Funding from such activities could actually help pay for more recycling - a recent USA Today story dove into how falling prices for recycled stock material have put the crunch on recycling companies.

The company's research concluded that recycled aluminum should come from Apple products rather than from recycling facilities because of the high grade needed for the metal. And make no mistake - this is about branding, with device security a distant second and environmentalism far behind. This is why Apple has been encouraging its customers to return their old used Apple products. But Apple's efforts are already underway, with some impressive steps to be had. The "renew" programme primarily targets Apple's own products but also accepts mobile phones from other manufactures.

However, it is also suggested that Apple is struggling to develop this technology to the point where it can be satisfactorily mass-produced for a major device such as the iPhone 8.

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