Apple will soon stop mining the rare-earth minerals and metals and move towards using recycled sources to make their products. In a document released Apple says, it plans to “one-day” move to a closed-loop manufacturing system, but that it’s not entirely sure how to get to that point. Mining the rare-earth mineral is not an easy task. Workers and children have to put their life into danger as mines contain extremely toxic and dangerous working conditions with harmful gases. The waste from the mines contaminates the soil and groundwater supplies and causes environmental devastation.
Lisa Jackson, the former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency who now heads environment initiatives for Apple said, “We’re actually doing something we rarely do, which discloses a goal before we’ve completely figured out how to do it.” She thinks this announcement will convey the message to all the mining companies that Apple has decided to use recycled materials.
The company has many sources from where they could get recycle materials. For aluminum, it will depend on old Apple products that can be reused for making iPhones, iPads and other devices in future. Simultaneously, Apple is also trying to initiate improvements in the recycling industry or sparking changes in policy that could manufacture more metals, minerals and rare earth made out of old devices.
Senior IT analyst Gary Cook said, “Major IT brands such as Samsung, Huawei, and Microsoft should quickly do what Apple is doing if they don’t want to risk falling even further behind.” Apple has just made an announcement but has not actually given any commitment so as to when it will move to a 100-percent recycling manufacturing system. Apple created “Material Risk Profiles that aims at helping Apple to systematically tackle the sourcing of each material until mining for new resources is no longer necessary.