Apple announces new ‘shredder-like’ recycling machine

Apple has today announced its development of a new recycling machine, called ‘Taz’, a machine that uses shredder-like technology to better recover material from used products.

Apple RecyclingThe announcement came alongside the company’s 2022 Environmental Progress report, which states that nearly 20 per cent of all material used in Apple products in 2021 was recycled, ‘the highest-ever use of recycled content’.

As well as the ‘Taz’ robot, Apple says it has developed the capacities of its patented iPhone disassembly robot ‘Daisy’ to take apart 23 models of the product. The company has also offered to license these patents to other companies and researchers free of charge. An additional robot, ‘Dave’, has been developed to disassemble Taptic Engines, recovering rare earth magnets, tungsten, and steel.

The progress report finds that 59 per cent of all the aluminium Apple shipped in its products came from recycled sources, with many products ‘featuring 100 per cent recycled aluminium in the enclosure’. Also outlined is the company’s reduction in plastic packaging, with plastics accounting for four per cent of packaging in 2021. Since 2015, the company says, plastic packaging has been reduced by 75 per cent.

In 2021, Apple products reportedly included 45 per cent certified recycled rare earth elements, 30 per cent certified recycled tin, and 13 per cent certified recycled cobalt. The progress report also notes that certified recycled gold was used by the company for the first time in the most recent iPhone model.

Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple, said: “As people around the world join in celebrating Earth Day, we are making real progress in our work to address the climate crisis and to one day make our products without taking anything from the earth.

“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.”