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Apple iPad casing supplier under fire over alleged water pollution

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Chinese locals call it the "milky river," due to its milky white color. It kills fish, its water is unsuitable for crop irrigation, and it's allegedly the fault of a company that manufactures cases for Apple's iPad.

iPads
Riteng, which supplies Apple with iPad casings, has come under fire for its environmental policies.


The Financial Times carried a report on Friday that Riteng ? a subsidiary of Casetek ? is now under investigation by the Songjiang district government over environmental regulations. Residents living near the Railway River tributary where Riteng's factories operate say that the river has turned milky white almost weekly since the newest factory opened two years ago. Discharges from the factory, they say, have killed off fish and shellfish and have left the water unusable for crop watering.

Casetek, Riteng's parent company, says that the discharge was the result of workers cleaning the factory during the lunar new year holiday. The workers, Casetek claims, improperly disposed of the water they had used.

"It's just Chinese new year annual cleaning," a Casetek representative told The Financial Times. "We will cooperate with the government, and the pollution is nothing to do with the production line of our factory."

Environmental regulators, though, say the pollutants in the milky river came from water used in the plant's cutting and polishing process, not from cleaning the factory. Reportedly, regulators have discovered other violations at the factory.

Apple, according to Casetek, is the main buyer of products produced by the factory, which also supplies Hewlett-Packard and Asus. Apple has confirmed that Riteng produces iPad back panels.

The "milky river" incident typifies the complexities inherent in managing a global supply chain as large as Apple's. The California-based company relies on low-cost labor and suppliers based largely in southeast Asia, many times in countries with different environmental standards from Apple's own.

Apple has opened up to allow third-party environmental audits of not only itself but also its supply chain. It is unclear, though, whether Riteng or Casetek have been audited.

"Significant threats to the environment" counts as one of Apple's "core violations," the most serious breaches of the company's supplier agreements. According to Apple's Supplier Responsibility 2012 Progress Report, core violations "must be remedied immediately, sometimes with the help of expert consultants." The company says that suppliers that have had core violations are reaudited every year.

The Cupertino company has, according to some accounts, considerably improved its environmental accountability. Under CEO Tim Cook, the company is said to have been more open to working with environmental groups in order to address pollution concerns, as well as to sanction suppliers who are skirting environmental regulations.
post #2 of 48

Every industrialized nation has had the same issue at some point in their history. Eventually China will get their act together just like the western counties did. The US had a couple hundred year head start in industrialization but in the early days they polluted lots of rivers and occasionally still do accidentally.

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post #3 of 48

I don't really care about the pollution, it's not my problem, and maybe some environmentalist types can go and protest or something, since they have nothing better to do with their time.

 

What interests me is that I'm wondering if this is the same casing supplier that those recent leaked photos came from, the photos of the iPad Mini with the blue Apple logo? I've always been saying that security needs to be tighter at all Apple suppliers and anybody caught leaking anything should be severely punished and obviously lose their jobs. Factory workers should not be allowed to bring any phones or cameras inside. They are there to work, not to take pictures and engage in espionage.

post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I don't really care about the pollution, it's not my problem

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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/156120/apple-ipad-casing-supplier-under-fire-over-alleged-water-pollution#post_2282443"]I don't really care about the pollution, it's not my problem
Epitaph for humanity
post #6 of 48

Does the Chinese government truly not care about their own environment?  Is the almighty yen (or dollar) that much more important than the health of their inhabitants.  Do they simply turn a blind eye to what's right in front of them and only act (if they do) when the media catches on?

This is not an Apple issue.  I'll bet other manufacturers for other brands have the exact (if not worse) problem with waste.

I mean come on!  We had our problems in the US back in the early ages, but even if China is catching up it's not like they started from caves.  Heck, they had us to use as a template of how to do things.  Do they care that little about themselves?

post #7 of 48
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Heck, they had us to use as a template of how to do things.


They're doing exactly what we did a century ago. What's so confusing? There's still a river in Chicago that is unlivable.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Does the Chinese government truly not care about their own environment?  

I'm sure that you realize what type of governmental system that they have in place. And that's part of the reason why I really don't care. The problem is not the pollution, IMO, you have to solve the core problem.

post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Does the Chinese government truly not care about their own environment?  Is the almighty yen (or dollar) that much more important than the health of their inhabitants.  Do they simply turn a blind eye to what's right in front of them and only act (if they do) when the media catches on?


This is not an Apple issue.  I'll bet other manufacturers for other brands have the exact (if not worse) problem with waste.


I mean come on!  We had our problems in the US back in the early ages, but even if China is catching up it's not like they started from caves.  Heck, they had us to use as a template of how to do things.  Do they care that little about themselves?

Hilarious satire lol.gif
post #10 of 48

A Chinese company that makes cases for several major US companies is alleged to have polluted and the Financial Times headline reads: Apple, Apple, Apple!

 

God, these sensationalist rags with an agenda suck. 

post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

anybody caught leaking anything should be severely punished

 

Couldn't agree more.

 

 

Oh wait, you're applying this to minor transgressions by labourers scraping by on a minimal wage, while letting environmentally reckless corporations completely off the hook as "not my problem" ?

 

Figures.

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post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Does the Chinese government truly not care about their own environment?  Is the almighty yen (or dollar) that much more important than the health of their inhabitants.  Do they simply turn a blind eye to what's right in front of them and only act (if they do) when the media catches on?

 

The media have caught on to the story that the Chinese regulators are investigating it.  Where are you extrapolating money worship and media pandering from? 

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post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post

A Chinese company that makes cases for several major US companies is alleged to have polluted and the Financial Times headline reads: Apple, Apple, Apple!

 

God, these sensationalist rags with an agenda suck. 

 

Sensationalist rag?  Do you have any idea what the Financial Times is?  It's more or less capitalism enshrined in print.  Good paper, but if you think its agenda is anti-business or anti-Apple then you're well shy of the mark.

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post #14 of 48
You would think that developing nations would have learned from the environmental disasters of the Western world. Learn from history, don't repeat it. This has nothing to do with Apple other than they are one of this company's customers.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I don't really care about the pollution, it's not my problem

 

[...]

 

I've always been saying that security needs to be tighter at all Apple suppliers and anybody caught leaking anything should be severely punished and obviously lose their jobs. 

In this case they were leaking a milky liquid.

 

You say it is not your problem but really you mean you don't care about pollution until it actually affects your life. Then you'll care. Pollution does not stay localized to where it originates. For example in the 70s-80s the smoke stack industries of the midwest were causing acid rain in the northeast killing trees in Vermont and damaging copper fixtures and marble edifices in NYC.

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post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

 

Couldn't agree more.

 

 

Oh wait, you're applying this to minor transgressions by labourers scraping by on a minimal wage, while letting environmentally reckless corporations completely off the hook as "not my problem" ?

 

Figures.

 

And I'm sure that the communist government will thoroughly investigate and get to the bottom of this. It's their problem to fix, not mine.

 

It's not like I'm going to go to China and stand in front of a tank.

post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Pollution does not stay localized to where it originates. 

I don't disagree with that. 

post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

And I'm sure that the communist government will thoroughly investigate and get to the bottom of this. It's their problem to fix, not mine.

 

It's not like I'm going to go to China and stand in front of a tank.

 

That's fine.  A bit odious to say you don't care at all, but your prerogative.  But why then are you getting riled - "I've always said" "severely punished" etc - about leaked photographs?  They don't affect you, and I highly doubt you're going to investigate those personally either.  Is it not down to the Chinese government (not particularly communist any more) to police that, as "espionage", without any comment from you?

 

Seems like an odd double standard, and an ethically absurd one.

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post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

 

That's fine.  A bit odious to say you don't care at all, but your prerogative.  But why then are you getting riled - "I've always said" "severely punished" etc - about leaked photographs?  They don't affect you, and I highly doubt you're going to investigate those personally either.

 

Seems like an odd double standard, and an ethically absurd one.

 

As a sometimes Apple shareholder, I would have to say that Apple leaks do affect me, and I've always been strongly against any leaks, as I feel that they are happening a bit too often.

post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I don't really care about the pollution, it's not my problem, and maybe some environmentalist types can go and protest or something, since they have nothing better to do with their time.

 

What interests me is that I'm wondering if this is the same casing supplier that those recent leaked photos came from, the photos of the iPad Mini with the blue Apple logo? I've always been saying that security needs to be tighter at all Apple suppliers and anybody caught leaking anything should be severely punished and obviously lose their jobs. Factory workers should not be allowed to bring any phones or cameras inside. They are there to work, not to take pictures and engage in espionage.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

No one can ever accuse you of taking inconsistent positions. You stay true. . .1smoking.gif

That's the position to take....and I paraphrase...."Who cares if I live in a toxic world as long as we can flog and execute those responsible for leaking Apple device pictures".

 

Holy crap. 1oyvey.gif

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

As a sometimes Apple shareholder, I would have to say that Apple leaks do affect me, and I've always been strongly against any leaks, as I feel that they are happening a bit too often.

How do those leaks affect you as an Apple shareholder any more than the bad publicity from being involved with a polluter?

 

"Oh no, some third parties will be able to have cases on the shelves for day one!"

 

Who gives a crap?  Totally twisted priorities you have.

 

 

NB.  Also an Apple shareholder (long time).  Leaks don't seem to have hurt the value of my shares.

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post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Every industrialized nation has had the same issue at some point in their history. Eventually China will get their act together just like the western counties did. The US had a couple hundred year head start in industrialization but in the early days they polluted lots of rivers and occasionally still do accidentally.

 

Accidental doesn't describe the incidents of industrial pollution in the US by a long shot, and it's certainly not a mere "occasional" occurrence. 

post #23 of 48

That's some full-on Randian Objectivism there, Apple ][.

2011 Macbook Pro, 2012 Macbook Air, iPhone 5, iPad 4

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2011 Macbook Pro, 2012 Macbook Air, iPhone 5, iPad 4

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post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandd View Post

Accidental doesn't describe the incidents of industrial pollution in the US by a long shot, and it's certainly not a mere "occasional" occurrence. 

 

I'm sure you have some evidence to support your argument that the pollution is intentional and happens frequently.

 

In my observation here in California the environmental regulations are quite strict and also effective. Occasionally we experience sewage treatment overflows if we get a huge rain storm but for the most part it is rather clean around here. Even the auto emissions are way down from previous levels.

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post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I'm sure that you realize what type of governmental system that they have in place. And that's part of the reason why I really don't care. The problem is not the pollution, IMO, you have to solve the core problem.

 

Political systems don't matter.  The core problem is not having proper limitations on government officials taking money from private interests.  People get paid to look the other way without any way for the public to do anything about it.

 

You can believe that "democracy" in Western countries somehow prevents this from happening, but it just means people have to be a bit more clever about how they go about such pay offs (find loopholes in laws and/or use a few levels of indirection and make the money trail very hard to follow).  For example, here in Toronto (and I'm sure other places), public officials are paid off via special "loans".  As a public official, accepting a direct payoff is illegal, but getting a loan (with special repayment terms) isn't.  Hence they've found a loophole in the system which allows for the same type of bribery that happens in China.  I'm sure I could find a dozen or more such examples in the US political system.

 

The true solution to the problem, no matter where/how it exists, is to stop the flow of private money into public institutions.  This ensures that public institutions are acting in the best interest of the public rather than private interests (who typically have very little concern about environmental issues, just as you do).

 
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post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

How do those leaks affect you as an Apple shareholder any more than the bad publicity from being involved with a polluter?

 

"Oh no, some third parties will be able to have cases on the shelves for day one!"

 

Who gives a crap?  Totally twisted priorities you have.

 

 

NB.  Also an Apple shareholder (long time).  Leaks don't seem to have hurt the value of my shares.

You seem to think that leaks are not a big deal, but I suppose that we'll just have to disagree.

 

And it's not about some third party case makers being able to have their cases on the shelves for day one. I don't care about any cases. I see it more as being about Apple's competitors having as little advance knowledge as possible when it comes to future products.

 

We all know that they are following Apple and they even drastically change their designs, based on what Apple releases. A good example is the iPad 2. A Samsung executive even admitted that it was back to the drawing board after Apple released the iPad 2. I guess that they were totally shocked and blown away by how thin it was when it was first announced.

 

Somebody leaking pictures weeks or months in advance can give the copy cat companies a head start on their copies, and I'd rather that they know as little as possible in advance. So that's why I am very strongly against leaks.

post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 

Political systems don't matter.  The core problem is not having proper limitations on government officials taking money from private interests.  People get paid to look the other way without any way for the public to do anything about it.

 

You can believe that "democracy" in Western countries somehow prevents this from happening, but it just means people have to be a bit more clever about how they go about such pay offs (find loopholes in laws and/or use a few levels of indirection and make the money trail very hard to follow).  For example, here in Toronto (and I'm sure other places), public officials are paid off via special "loans".  As a public official, accepting a direct payoff is illegal, but getting a loan (with special repayment terms) isn't.  Hence they've found a loophole in the system which allows for the same type of bribery that happens in China.  I'm sure I could find a dozen or more such examples in the US political system.

 

The true solution to the problem, no matter where/how it exists, is to stop the flow of private money into public institutions.  This ensures that public institutions are acting in the best interest of the public rather than private interests (who typically have very little concern about environmental issues, just as you do).

 

The system that we have in most western countries is certainly not perfect, and I'm definitely not claiming that it is. There is corruption here, there are bad politicians who are crooks etc. I just think that it is on a whole other level in a country like China for example.

post #28 of 48

I grew up in machine shops, this it probably Tri-Clorides used to make cutting tools last longer......

 

It is some really nasty stuff....

post #29 of 48

Definitely time to add to my block list so I don't have to waste anymore time like I just did on this comment thread.

post #30 of 48

It sounded to me like they where indeed involved in the investigation.   It wasn't so much the media catching on as local citizens complaining to their government.   

 

As for Apple why should they escape any blame?    They might not be legally responsible but morally they have a responsibility to make sure their products are manufactured with a minimal of harm.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Does the Chinese government truly not care about their own environment?  Is the almighty yen (or dollar) that much more important than the health of their inhabitants.  Do they simply turn a blind eye to what's right in front of them and only act (if they do) when the media catches on?

This is not an Apple issue.  I'll bet other manufacturers for other brands have the exact (if not worse) problem with waste.

I mean come on!  We had our problems in the US back in the early ages, but even if China is catching up it's not like they started from caves.  Heck, they had us to use as a template of how to do things.  Do they care that little about themselves?

It isn't that simple, China literally exploded over a couple of decades.   Look around you locally, even our governments have had issue catching up locally.   Technology advances quickly.   We are not without our own stupid government driven escapades either, just look at some recent jobs programs.   For example the stupidity of light rail programs that would give us more of 1950's technology.   Mind you I'm not against public transportation but really we need to be more forward looking and innovative.  

 

The fact is China has terrible environmental problems and they are moving with all the speed of any government to address those issues.    Sure some companies ignore regulation but if you think that only happens in China you need to get in touch with reality.    

post #31 of 48
For those of you that don't live in China let me explain. The problem stems from poor education, a "we will develop first and clean up later" attitude and the fact that Chinese only care about money and their immediate family, in that order.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Definitely time to add to my block list so I don't have to waste anymore time like I just did on this comment thread.

Apple ][ destroys another thread, deliberately and cynically. For those who didn't see it before, last year ConradJoe, banned professional troll extraordinaire, fingered Apple ][ as a fellow paid troll, whose job it is to pollute the thread with right-wing drivel and thus make it less possible for anyone to say that Apple fans are enlightened humanitarians. Or for them to think of themselves that way.

A bit far-fetched, I know, but I find it more believeable that anyone could really be as screamingly pathological as he pretends to be.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post

A Chinese company that makes cases for several major US companies is alleged to have polluted and the Financial Times headline reads: Apple, Apple, Apple!

 

God, these sensationalist rags with an agenda suck. 

I totally agree.  Only Apple is mentioned what about Asus or HP? Why does the article not mention them in the headlines?  A quote further down in the article limply mentions those "other companies" (who don't turn the article into a hit whores dream).  

 

"Apple, according to Casetek, is the main buyer of products produced by the factory, which also supplies Hewlett-Packard and Asus".

 

Next the Jack Asses will be demanding Apple do something about another companies problem while Asus and HP will get a Free Pass.

post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandd View Post

 

Accidental doesn't describe the incidents of industrial pollution in the US by a long shot, and it's certainly not a mere "occasional" occurrence. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

 

I'm sure you have some evidence to support your argument that the pollution is intentional and happens frequently.

 

In my observation here in California the environmental regulations are quite strict and also effective. Occasionally we experience sewage treatment overflows if we get a huge rain storm but for the most part it is rather clean around here. Even the auto emissions are way down from previous levels.

 

Don't need any, especially since I hardly said it's alway intentional and happens "frequently", just dismiss the notion that it's occasional and never intentional.   If you pulled out the list of industrial river pollution cases in CA and put the "accidental" in column A and the ones that don't qualify as such in column B you would have only a few (occasional) cases on record and 100% in column A, not leaving any out.

 

 Your statement "The US had a couple hundred year head start in industrialization but in the early days they polluted lots of rivers and occasionally still do accidentally." implies it is always "accidental" when it "occasionally" happens.   The implication that it happens "occasionally" and when it does it's always "accidentally" is an incorrect one.  Maybe it never makes the news in California but cases of river pollution are by no means rare here in the northeast, and it's harder to find a case of accidental industrial river pollution than non-accidental.   

 

 

post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Does the Chinese government truly not care about their own environment?  Is the almighty yen (or dollar) that much more important than the health of their inhabitants.  Do they simply turn a blind eye to what's right in front of them and only act (if they do) when the media catches on?

 

As you can read in the story, the local people know about the problem and its effects. Somewhere in this mix is a corrupt local official that's blocking the information from flowing upstream. Local officials are the bane of China's government. However, the corruption doesn't stop at the local level, in some cases it goes all the way to the top.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post

A Chinese company that makes cases for several major US companies is alleged to have polluted and the Financial Times headline reads: Apple, Apple, Apple!

 

God, these sensationalist rags with an agenda suck. 

 

How'd you like the allegedly, maybe, perhaps talk though out it, way to try to cover their butts on libel charges

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #37 of 48

We have a solution for Apple if they want to use it.  It's describe in our website...

 

www.cleanwatersingapore.com

post #38 of 48
Originally Posted by cleanwater View Post
We have a solution for Apple if they want to use it.


This has nothing to do with Apple.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #39 of 48

Some of the pollutants may be volatile organic chemicals.  If Apple is interested in a solution, there is a water treatment method that works in an industrial environment at www.cleanwatersingapore.com

post #40 of 48

Perhaps go to ground to find out the supplier's attitudes, parts of which have been suggested by other posters.  The suppliers responsibility report is probably the strongest way to tackle this.  Money talks.

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