Recycling robot 'Daisy' part of Apple's effort to end mining for resources

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 57
    thttht Posts: 4,623member
    Soli said:
    tht said:
    Device repair outfit iFixit chief executive suggests "There's this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it's not possible." 

    This quote from the ifixit CEO makes it seem that he and Lisa Jackson have different understandings of what closed loop manufacturing means. Or perhaps he is too deep in his own beliefs to think it is possible?

    Then, maybe the quote is taken out of context as surely he thinks that having 20, 30, 50% use of recycled materials is better than 0%. 
    This article has the headline stating it's to "end" mining, instead of a more reasonable reduction. I don't know if that's something Apple has stated or if how AI interpreted a desire to reduce mining, but as Apple grows in unit sales and into more product offerings, not to mention the number of devices that stay in use for years to come, even if they were Apple to use 100% of recycled material they'd still need to source outside their own device chain.

    Regardless of what Apple can achieve, this is a great thing.
    Apple has a stated goal to build its products with recycled materials only, and thereby, end its use of mining for them. That’s a perfectly doable goal given a long enough trajectory (like 10 years), as they are only switching from mining for the materials in the ground to mining for them in trash. The material quantity is there, it’s the processing and mass production using these new processes that need to be developed. The “end mining” without further stating that it’s Apple’s use of mining makes it appear that it is mining in total. So, AI is going too far with the language here.

    Only Wiens is on record stating that closed loop manufacturing is impossible, which maybe implies he was quoted out of context. Just read the Reuters article. There is nothing controversial in it. It specifically states that Apple’s closed loop manufacturing won’t end mining overall. It’s the iFixit quote that seems incongruous as there will be enough material waste for Apple to recover from recycling to build products, likely by orders of magnitudes. Apple only has 10% phone market share, and the waste from the phone market itself will be enough to be closed loop for Apple’s products let alone entire market sectors.
    bageljoeyStrangeDays
  • Reply 22 of 57
    tht said:
    Device repair outfit iFixit chief executive suggests "There's this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it's not possible." 

    This quote from the ifixit CEO makes it seem that he and Lisa Jackson have different understandings of what closed loop manufacturing means. Or perhaps he is too deep in his own beliefs to think it is possible?

    Then, maybe the quote is taken out of context as surely he thinks that having 20, 30, 50% use of recycled materials is better than 0%. 

    What experience does iFixit have with heavy industrial manufacturing?
    tmayStrangeDaysJWSC
  • Reply 23 of 57
    The Wiz sez:

    He offers up honest points of view.   The fact that you get triggered over them is your problem.    I’m  close to completely leaving the Mac ecosystem over Apples stupidity so I can’t argue with Ifixit’s point of view.    There really is no justification for making desktop Macs the mess they are.  



    Buh-bye...
    pscooter63StrangeDaysmwhitespice-boy
  • Reply 24 of 57
    lkrupp said:

     Their loudmouthed CEO has an axe to grind over how difficult something is to take apart and repair. And as for the title CEO I suspect that iFixit is probably a one or two man operation in a rented office space.
    It can’t be that difficult to take apart, a robot is doing it... oh right 😂😈
  • Reply 25 of 57
    Soli said:
    tht said:
    Device repair outfit iFixit chief executive suggests "There's this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it's not possible." 

    This quote from the ifixit CEO makes it seem that he and Lisa Jackson have different understandings of what closed loop manufacturing means. Or perhaps he is too deep in his own beliefs to think it is possible?

    Then, maybe the quote is taken out of context as surely he thinks that having 20, 30, 50% use of recycled materials is better than 0%. 
    This article has the headline stating it's to "end" mining, instead of a more reasonable reduction. I don't know if that's something Apple has stated or if how AI interpreted a desire to reduce mining, but as Apple grows in unit sales and into more product offerings, not to mention the number of devices that stay in use for years to come, even if they were Apple to use 100% of recycled material they'd still need to source outside their own device chain.

    Regardless of what Apple can achieve, this is a great thing.
    100% recycled material would in fact be an end to mining at least for Apple. Where that recycled material comes from is immaterial as it wouldn’t be from mining which is the whole point.

    If Apple could get this technology into the hands of the autoindustry then that would be a major coup for the planet.
  • Reply 26 of 57
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member

    As a person who cares a lot about these issues, I was at first totally impressed by this recycling robot stuff at Apple. I love robots and I love the notion of reclaiming materials.

    However, as a person who really does care a lot about these issues (and therefore pays attention to the finer details), I realized Apple’s robots are indeed largely a publicity thing.

    Apple are not the good guys here. They just market themselves as the good guys, and we believe them, because the marketing is powerful and because they do some good things. However, Apple don’t do most of the good things they could and should be doing. They fall well below the image they seem to be buying with marketing.

    There’s so much waste by Apple:

    • Apple sells short-life products, per their own efforts to get us to buy new things as rapidly as possible. They intentionally and arbitrarily abandon software updates on older devices (Snow Leopard is proof that a new version of an OS can be more compact and more efficient than all of its predecessors, and Apple hasn’t repeated that since, because Snow Leopard was merely the side-benefit of developing iOS). Apple are one of the typical cases of computer industry efforts at focusing only on selling new products, not on making existing ones continue to operate effectively. OS “Upgrades” are tools to sell more product, not improvements to the existing products.

    • Apple has environmentally-horrible packaging. Their luxurious packaging uses too many (and wastes new) materials. They present PR that’s basically about subsidizing the logging industry, rather than using post-consumer paper. They use needless piles of non-recyclable plastic films (while technically recyclable, there’s almost zero infrastructure for plastic film recycling in the USA, because of capitalism) to wrap products and accessories.

    • Apple’s products are designed-as-disposable. Yes, that’s what you’re making when you sell products that depend on sealed-in rechargeable batteries, which are inaccessible to customer replacement (even making it impossible to replace without literally rebuilding and refurbishing the product with some brand new materials). This is especially egregious in products that don’t need to be wireless! It’s not just batteries, though: the non-modular, and inaccessible nature of their products means that any failure of any kind means a likely monolithic replacement if not a replacement of the entire device. There is proof that fewer connectors and joints results in better reliability, but the environmental impact here of disposable electronics is worth backing off a bit on the monolithic design.

    • IFixit (yes I know people here despise them, but they make relevant points we need to consider about Apple’s environmental impact), recently wrote about iPhones/iPads being shredded or disassembled instead of being resold for second-hand ownership due to activation lock. Macs with T2 chips are in line for the same treatment. This is a problem. We cannot trash the environment for the sake of absolutist data security. I know you guys malign iFixIt as having self-interest in the second-hand market, but this is still a relevant issue. Manufacturing new devices serves Apple, while second-hand ownership does not. Manufacturing new products to sell to customers uses far more more materials and energy than does the reuse of existing, intact products.

    Some of the problem is the culture of waste in the USA. It’s not just the obsession with having new gadgets; we barely recycle anything anymore. I don’t just mean people are lazy jerks about recycling (my neighbor is a perfect example of that). As a nation, we literally do not have recycling systems in place for most materials. Incinerator-selling corporations are actively competing against recycling systems. The collected materials aren’t going anywhere now that China has decided to stop taking our single-stream waste (basically the recyclable materials were useless the way we collect and ship them out; it’s entirely our own fault). The recycling we were doing was minimal even before that. Most plastics don’t get reused. Recyclers don’t want them because buyers of these plastics aren’t interested in most of the types of plastic going through the system (and manufacturers are a huge part of the problem by choosing the cheapest and least recyclable materials for packaging). The incinerators want to burn it, as it makes “great fuel” to keep incinerators burning (“waste to energy” is a propaganda meme; it’s just waste, and it’s incredibly damaging to the environment).

    Our recycling efforts have sucked due to capitalist laziness and greed in the actual recycling business, and, yes, also because of citizens not giving a damn... But Apple, and every other manufacturer (and most businesses that have any kind of consumables), does far more damage in this regard than individual citizens. The sheer scale of waste put out by businesses (who aren’t usually required by their regional governments to do recycling at all, when the citizens areexpected to) far eclipses the waste put out by individuals.

    Ad Council propaganda on recycling and “good for the planet” activities is always aimed at individual citizens. That’s how the Ad Council protects corporations from responsibility; that’s what they exist for: propaganda. It literally was founded as a propaganda department; it used to be called “The War Council”. Despite their PR efforts, reality stays the same: the largest abuses of the environment, and the actual places that could make the most impact in halting our environmental destruction, are at the corporate level.

    Apple are not just an example of this; Apple are a major part of the problem.

    If this feel-good PR (disassembly robots, data centers powered by batteries and carbon offset credits, etc) leaves you content, you’re not paying enough attention. You are allowed to like Apple and Apple products if they make your life better in some way, but you really ought to be demanding more from them on environmental issues than expensive PR.

    edited January 2020 spice-boyOfermuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 27 of 57
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    PS: the “us vs them” attitude here against iFixIt is black & white absolutist, almost religious thinking. It just enables a lack of critical examination of what Apple are really doing, environmentally. Try a more nuanced look.
    spice-boyOfer
  • Reply 28 of 57
    Bart YBart Y Posts: 44unconfirmed, member
    jimh2 said:
    It's a feel-good move by Apple to save money when building new products. It if ever "closed loop" the company will be dying out because if you have enough coming in to support what you are selling then you are not selling enough product and/or people are buying another brands product.
    Ah, with almost 1 billion iPhone smartphones in active use, and Apple selling typically 190-200 million smartphones annually, turnover of just 20% of the existing iPhones every year (on a 4 year life cycle) could conceivably supply most of their need if highly efficient.  Think of how much more they material they could get if they started to recycle Android phones?
    StrangeDaysmwhite
  • Reply 29 of 57
    Bart YBart Y Posts: 44unconfirmed, member
    mr lizard said:
    Can Daisy recover cobalt, or will Apple’s suppliers still rely on children to mine that for them? 

    Daisy 
    can recover Cobalt and Apple because it is the biggest target, can weed out child labor in its cobalt supply chain.  Now, can you say the same thing from the 9x larger Android makers supply chain or can comment on whether their suppliers use child labor in the cobalt they buy?  
    StrangeDaysbaconstangmwhite
  • Reply 30 of 57
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member
    dysamoria said:
    PS: the “us vs them” attitude here against iFixIt is black & white absolutist, almost religious thinking. It just enables a lack of critical examination of what Apple are really doing, environmentally. Try a more nuanced look.
    Wow! Thank you for a well written and thought out comment. You will find few AI readers who could read past the first sentence of your post before scrolling away. AI attracts readers interested in everything Apple except critique or questioning which is either ignored or countered with personal insults. We are firmly in the post "beleaguered" years yet so many AI readers still feel obligated to defend Apple's every move. Yes there is an old time religious fervor with some people here, Cult of Mac's most orthodox and extreme believers come to Apple's defense on a daily basis. 
    Oferdysamoria
  • Reply 31 of 57
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,811member
    dysamoria said:

    As a person who cares a lot about these issues, I was at first totally impressed by this recycling robot stuff at Apple. I love robots and I love the notion of reclaiming materials.

    However, as a person who really does care a lot about these issues (and therefore pays attention to the finer details), I realized Apple’s robots are indeed largely a publicity thing.

    Apple are not the good guys here. They just market themselves as the good guys, and we believe them, because the marketing is powerful and because they do some good things. However, Apple don’t do most of the good things they could and should be doing. They fall well below the image they seem to be buying with marketing.

    There’s so much waste by Apple:

    • Apple sells short-life products, per their own efforts to get us to buy new things as rapidly as possible. They intentionally and arbitrarily abandon software updates on older devices (Snow Leopard is proof that a new version of an OS can be more compact and more efficient than all of its predecessors, and Apple hasn’t repeated that since, because Snow Leopard was merely the side-benefit of developing iOS). Apple are one of the typical cases of computer industry efforts at focusing only on selling new products, not on making existing ones continue to operate effectively. OS “Upgrades” are tools to sell more product, not improvements to the existing products.

    • Apple has environmentally-horrible packaging. Their luxurious packaging uses too many (and wastes new) materials. They present PR that’s basically about subsidizing the logging industry, rather than using post-consumer paper. They use needless piles of non-recyclable plastic films (while technically recyclable, there’s almost zero infrastructure for plastic film recycling in the USA, because of capitalism) to wrap products and accessories.

    • Apple’s products are designed-as-disposable. Yes, that’s what you’re making when you sell products that depend on sealed-in rechargeable batteries, which are inaccessible to customer replacement (even making it impossible to replace without literally rebuilding and refurbishing the product with some brand new materials). This is especially egregious in products that don’t need to be wireless! It’s not just batteries, though: the non-modular, and inaccessible nature of their products means that any failure of any kind means a likely monolithic replacement if not a replacement of the entire device. There is proof that fewer connectors and joints results in better reliability, but the environmental impact here of disposable electronics is worth backing off a bit on the monolithic design.

    • IFixit (yes I know people here despise them, but they make relevant points we need to consider about Apple’s environmental impact), recently wrote about iPhones/iPads being shredded or disassembled instead of being resold for second-hand ownership due to activation lock. Macs with T2 chips are in line for the same treatment. This is a problem. We cannot trash the environment for the sake of absolutist data security. I know you guys malign iFixIt as having self-interest in the second-hand market, but this is still a relevant issue. Manufacturing new devices serves Apple, while second-hand ownership does not. Manufacturing new products to sell to customers uses far more more materials and energy than does the reuse of existing, intact products.

    Some of the problem is the culture of waste in the USA. It’s not just the obsession with having new gadgets; we barely recycle anything anymore. I don’t just mean people are lazy jerks about recycling (my neighbor is a perfect example of that). As a nation, we literally do not have recycling systems in place for most materials. Incinerator-selling corporations are actively competing against recycling systems. The collected materials aren’t going anywhere now that China has decided to stop taking our single-stream waste (basically the recyclable materials were useless the way we collect and ship them out; it’s entirely our own fault). The recycling we were doing was minimal even before that. Most plastics don’t get reused. Recyclers don’t want them because buyers of these plastics aren’t interested in most of the types of plastic going through the system (and manufacturers are a huge part of the problem by choosing the cheapest and least recyclable materials for packaging). The incinerators want to burn it, as it makes “great fuel” to keep incinerators burning (“waste to energy” is a propaganda meme; it’s just waste, and it’s incredibly damaging to the environment).

    Our recycling efforts have sucked due to capitalist laziness and greed in the actual recycling business, and, yes, also because of citizens not giving a damn... But Apple, and every other manufacturer (and most businesses that have any kind of consumables), does far more damage in this regard than individual citizens. The sheer scale of waste put out by businesses (who aren’t usually required by their regional governments to do recycling at all, when the citizens areexpected to) far eclipses the waste put out by individuals.

    Ad Council propaganda on recycling and “good for the planet” activities is always aimed at individual citizens. That’s how the Ad Council protects corporations from responsibility; that’s what they exist for: propaganda. It literally was founded as a propaganda department; it used to be called “The War Council”. Despite their PR efforts, reality stays the same: the largest abuses of the environment, and the actual places that could make the most impact in halting our environmental destruction, are at the corporate level.

    Apple are not just an example of this; Apple are a major part of the problem.

    If this feel-good PR (disassembly robots, data centers powered by batteries and carbon offset credits, etc) leaves you content, you’re not paying enough attention. You are allowed to like Apple and Apple products if they make your life better in some way, but you really ought to be demanding more from them on environmental issues than expensive PR.

    Oh for fuck's sake...

    Apple's iPhone easily has the longest average life cycle of any smartphone on the planet, and given that smartphones have yet to be "good enough", there will continue to be a replacement market for iPhones that is on the order of 200 million units a year. That Apple has been experimenting with automated disassembly is necessary research for Apple to incorporate improved recyclability into its products, research that might allow for actually recycling 200 million units a year efficiently in the future.

    Given that the smartphone has replaced so many devices in our lives, and is used ubiquitously during our daily lives, it's hard to imagine a more efficient use of materials and energy for any consumer product other than the iPhone.

    Apple's research is better off utilized to improve the robustness of the iPhone in our daily lives than to make it easier for individuals to self repair.

    Here's a ball park figure on the physical volume of all iPhones produced each year, based on my current iPhone 7 Plus;

    Size 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

    Volume for 200m units = 17,993 cubic meters of iPhones per year, or a football field filled to a height of 13.3 feet in iPhone 7 Plus.


    Weight 188 g

    Weight for 200m units = 37.6 M Kg

    For Apple in 2018, that was $218 billion dollars in revenue.

    Oh, and for the record, Apple is likely the best case for recycling and clean manufacture in the world, continues to improve, so maybe, you should reconsider and retarget your rant to the rest of the smartphone industry, or most any other industry for that matter.

    Edit: Made an error in my volume calculation, now corrected.
    edited January 2020 SolimacxpressthtStrangeDaysbaconstangmwhiteJWSCfastasleep
  • Reply 32 of 57
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,444member
    jimh2 said:
    It's a feel-good move by Apple to save money when building new products. It if ever "closed loop" the company will be dying out because if you have enough coming in to support what you are selling then you are not selling enough product and/or people are buying another brands product.
    You are incorrectly assuming that the product replacement cycle is expected to be annual. That’s not the case. These devices are expected to be used for several years by most consumers. That leaves an ample supply for creating a closed-loop system, after a few years’ lead-in time, which is already here. 
    thttmayStrangeDays
  • Reply 33 of 57
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,252member
    wizard69 said:
    iFixit chief executive suggests "There's this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it's not possible." 

    ...what a maroon. He’s actually trying to spin an effort to use existing materials as a negative ego thing. WTF is wrong with this guy. 

    Also, using existing materials isn’t the same as claiming they’ll get all their minerals used by each and every product back. Conflation or strawman, you decide. 
    Different perspective.   It can be argued that Apples approach is resource intensive as their intention is to remanufacture everything.   There is a much more supportable view that we should repair and use things for as long as possible.  While there are issues with both sides the idea of recycling a fully working iPhone of recent vintage is just asinine.   It is far better to keep such in use until it is no longer viable.  

    As such I really don’t think a Apple cares about the environment as much as they are about keeping sales volumes high.   In this case by Aggressive recycling they pull perfectly functional devices off the market.    I really doubt that Apples internal goals align with the public sell on these programs. 

    Apples claims on what they can get back are misleading and in any event wouldn’t mean much if sales continue to rise.    Recycling is never perfect.  Take aluminum for example  which recycles well but it is never perfect.   Oxides and contamination exists in all recycling processes that are not easily addressed and often end up as waste.   Note that Aluminum, most metals in fact, do recycle but there is always waste.    Other materials don’t even come close to being recyclable.  

    In the end all I can say is don’t be gullible!   Recycling isn’t always the right answer when it comes to environmental impact.    In this case I’m pretty sure Apple is smiling behind our backs knowing that they are taking millions of usable phones out of circulation. 
    Can you show us where Apple recommends recycling working recent iPhones? I can't. They buy them back and sell in other markets. The ones that get recycled are behind useful lifespan.

    Wanting to sell new products and being earnest about recycling no longer useful ones are not mutually exclusive ideas.
    tmaybaconstangfastasleep
  • Reply 34 of 57
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,252member

    wizard69 said:
    lkrupp said:

    iFixit chief executive suggests "There's this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it's not possible." 

    ...what a maroon. He’s actually trying to spin an effort to use existing materials as a negative ego thing. WTF is wrong with this guy. 

    Also, using existing materials isn’t the same as claiming they’ll get all their minerals used by each and every product back. Conflation or strawman, you decide. 
    iFixit doesn't do any repairs themselves. You cannot send your iPhone in to them for repair. They  don't sell any parts other than screens, batteries. Oh, they do sell a replacement home button with the caveat that Touch ID functions cannot be restored. They sell cheap tools and offer user submitted instructions on how to take things part. That's it. Their loudmouthed CEO has an axe to grind over how difficult something is to take apart and repair. And as for the title CEO I suspect that iFixit is probably a one or two man operation in a rented office space.
    He offers up honest points of view.   The fact that you get triggered over them is your problem.    I’m  close to completely leaving the Mac ecosystem over Apples stupidity so I can’t argue with Ifixit’s point of view.    There really is no justification for making desktop Macs the mess they are.  
    Yeah you've been saying so for years. What's stopping you? Linux is where it's at.

    Meanwhile, I recently got a new iMac 5K and it's a fabulous tool. 
    baconstangtmayJWSCfastasleep
  • Reply 35 of 57
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,444member
    dysamoria said:

    As a person who cares a lot about these issues, I was at first totally impressed by this recycling robot stuff at Apple. I love robots and I love the notion of reclaiming materials.

    However, as a person who really does care a lot about these issues (and therefore pays attention to the finer details), I realized Apple’s robots are indeed largely a publicity thing.

    Apple are not the good guys here. They just market themselves as the good guys, and we believe them, because the marketing is powerful and because they do some good things. However, Apple don’t do most of the good things they could and should be doing. They fall well below the image they seem to be buying with marketing.

    There’s so much waste by Apple:

    • Apple sells short-life products, per their own efforts to get us to buy new things as rapidly as possible. They intentionally and arbitrarily abandon software updates on older devices (Snow Leopard is proof that a new version of an OS can be more compact and more efficient than all of its predecessors, and Apple hasn’t repeated that since, because Snow Leopard was merely the side-benefit of developing iOS). Apple are one of the typical cases of computer industry efforts at focusing only on selling new products, not on making existing ones continue to operate effectively. OS “Upgrades” are tools to sell more product, not improvements to the existing products.

    • Apple has environmentally-horrible packaging. Their luxurious packaging uses too many (and wastes new) materials. They present PR that’s basically about subsidizing the logging industry, rather than using post-consumer paper. They use needless piles of non-recyclable plastic films (while technically recyclable, there’s almost zero infrastructure for plastic film recycling in the USA, because of capitalism) to wrap products and accessories.

    • Apple’s products are designed-as-disposable. Yes, that’s what you’re making when you sell products that depend on sealed-in rechargeable batteries, which are inaccessible to customer replacement (even making it impossible to replace without literally rebuilding and refurbishing the product with some brand new materials). This is especially egregious in products that don’t need to be wireless! It’s not just batteries, though: the non-modular, and inaccessible nature of their products means that any failure of any kind means a likely monolithic replacement if not a replacement of the entire device. There is proof that fewer connectors and joints results in better reliability, but the environmental impact here of disposable electronics is worth backing off a bit on the monolithic design.

    • IFixit (yes I know people here despise them, but they make relevant points we need to consider about Apple’s environmental impact), recently wrote about iPhones/iPads being shredded or disassembled instead of being resold for second-hand ownership due to activation lock. Macs with T2 chips are in line for the same treatment. This is a problem. We cannot trash the environment for the sake of absolutist data security. I know you guys malign iFixIt as having self-interest in the second-hand market, but this is still a relevant issue. Manufacturing new devices serves Apple, while second-hand ownership does not. Manufacturing new products to sell to customers uses far more more materials and energy than does the reuse of existing, intact products.

    Some of the problem is the culture of waste in the USA. It’s not just the obsession with having new gadgets; we barely recycle anything anymore. I don’t just mean people are lazy jerks about recycling (my neighbor is a perfect example of that). As a nation, we literally do not have recycling systems in place for most materials. Incinerator-selling corporations are actively competing against recycling systems. The collected materials aren’t going anywhere now that China has decided to stop taking our single-stream waste (basically the recyclable materials were useless the way we collect and ship them out; it’s entirely our own fault). The recycling we were doing was minimal even before that. Most plastics don’t get reused. Recyclers don’t want them because buyers of these plastics aren’t interested in most of the types of plastic going through the system (and manufacturers are a huge part of the problem by choosing the cheapest and least recyclable materials for packaging). The incinerators want to burn it, as it makes “great fuel” to keep incinerators burning (“waste to energy” is a propaganda meme; it’s just waste, and it’s incredibly damaging to the environment).

    Our recycling efforts have sucked due to capitalist laziness and greed in the actual recycling business, and, yes, also because of citizens not giving a damn... But Apple, and every other manufacturer (and most businesses that have any kind of consumables), does far more damage in this regard than individual citizens. The sheer scale of waste put out by businesses (who aren’t usually required by their regional governments to do recycling at all, when the citizens areexpected to) far eclipses the waste put out by individuals.

    Ad Council propaganda on recycling and “good for the planet” activities is always aimed at individual citizens. That’s how the Ad Council protects corporations from responsibility; that’s what they exist for: propaganda. It literally was founded as a propaganda department; it used to be called “The War Council”. Despite their PR efforts, reality stays the same: the largest abuses of the environment, and the actual places that could make the most impact in halting our environmental destruction, are at the corporate level.

    Apple are not just an example of this; Apple are a major part of the problem.

    If this feel-good PR (disassembly robots, data centers powered by batteries and carbon offset credits, etc) leaves you content, you’re not paying enough attention. You are allowed to like Apple and Apple products if they make your life better in some way, but you really ought to be demanding more from them on environmental issues than expensive PR.

    So many assumptions. I’ll just touch on a few.

    Short-life products. That’s a consumer demand that will always exist in new technology. A tech company that makes any computer device with an expected, say, ten-year lifespan will fail. If Apple was still selling the iPhone 3GS, they would go out of business. 

    Sealed batteries. The assumption here is that devices with consumer-accessible batteries would be kept longer, thus lowering the negative environmental impact. In truth, it would actually result in a huge market for third-party batteries. Rather than keeping devices charged, consumers would buy multiple cheap batteries so they could swap them out a few times a day. (If you’re old enough to have had a pre-iPhone cell phone, you probably did this.) Lots of those batteries would end up lost or tossed in the trash. As it is now, you can get your iPhone battery replaced at an Apple store where it will be recovered through their recycling program, or at least a third-party shop where it’s more likely to be recycled than would consumer-swappable batteries. The same scenario is true if considering consumer swappable memory or other hardware upgrades. “Right to repair” is not the Shangri-La people think it is. The old days of shade-tre mechanics working on cars was the old days of shade-tree mechanics dumping oil out on the ground or into the storm sewers.

    Recycling. Much has been written about this recently. The problem with recycling is not so much about consumers’ failure to do their duty. It’s about manufacturers externalizing costs and responsibility to the consumer. Back in the day, you could bring your milk and soda bottles back to the grocery store, and there was a system for cleaning and reusing them. That was all replaced with disposable plastic, shifting costs and responsibility to the consumer. The idea that Apple is creating a closed-loop system for recovering materials from devices is actually a rare example of a manufacturer re-absorbing costs and responsibility from the consumer. It’s not a leap to assume that their manufacturing design will take into account the requirements of their disassembly and recovery processes. 

    No Apple’s not perfect, and there’s certainly a PR component to this, but Apple doesn’t do things like this just as fluff.
    StrangeDaysbaconstangmwhitefastasleep
  • Reply 36 of 57
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,252member
    dysamoria said:

    As a person who cares a lot about these issues, I was at first totally impressed by this recycling robot stuff at Apple. I love robots and I love the notion of reclaiming materials.

    However, as a person who really does care a lot about these issues (and therefore pays attention to the finer details), I realized Apple’s robots are indeed largely a publicity thing.

    Apple are not the good guys here. They just market themselves as the good guys, and we believe them, because the marketing is powerful and because they do some good things. However, Apple don’t do most of the good things they could and should be doing. They fall well below the image they seem to be buying with marketing.

    There’s so much waste by Apple:

    Apple sells short-life products, per their own efforts to get us to buy new things as rapidly as possible. They intentionally and arbitrarily abandon software updates on older devices (Snow Leopard is proof that a new version of an OS can be more compact and more efficient than all of its predecessors, and Apple hasn’t repeated that since, because Snow Leopard was merely the side-benefit of developing iOS). Apple are one of the typical cases of computer industry efforts at focusing only on selling new products, not on making existing ones continue to operate effectively. OS “Upgrades” are tools to sell more product, not improvements to the existing products.

    Apple has environmentally-horrible packaging. Their luxurious packaging uses too many (and wastes new) materials. They present PR that’s basically about subsidizing the logging industry, rather than using post-consumer paper. They use needless piles of non-recyclable plastic films (while technically recyclable, there’s almost zero infrastructure for plastic film recycling in the USA, because of capitalism) to wrap products and accessories.

    Apple’s products are designed-as-disposable. Yes, that’s what you’re making when you sell products that depend on sealed-in rechargeable batteries, which are inaccessible to customer replacement (even making it impossible to replace without literally rebuilding and refurbishing the product with some brand new materials). This is especially egregious in products that don’t need to be wireless! It’s not just batteries, though: the non-modular, and inaccessible nature of their products means that any failure of any kind means a likely monolithic replacement if not a replacement of the entire device. There is proof that fewer connectors and joints results in better reliability, but the environmental impact here of disposable electronics is worth backing off a bit on the monolithic design.

    • IFixit (yes I know people here despise them, but they make relevant points we need to consider about Apple’s environmental impact), recently wrote about iPhones/iPads being shredded or disassembled instead of being resold for second-hand ownership due to activation lock. Macs with T2 chips are in line for the same treatment. This is a problem. We cannot trash the environment for the sake of absolutist data security. I know you guys malign iFixIt as having self-interest in the second-hand market, but this is still a relevant issue. Manufacturing new devices serves Apple, while second-hand ownership does not. Manufacturing new products to sell to customers uses far more more materials and energy than does the reuse of existing, intact products.

    Some of the problem is the culture of waste in the USA. It’s not just the obsession with having new gadgets; we barely recycle anything anymore. I don’t just mean people are lazy jerks about recycling (my neighbor is a perfect example of that). As a nation, we literally do not have recycling systems in place for most materials. Incinerator-selling corporations are actively competing against recycling systems. The collected materials aren’t going anywhere now that China has decided to stop taking our single-stream waste (basically the recyclable materials were useless the way we collect and ship them out; it’s entirely our own fault). The recycling we were doing was minimal even before that. Most plastics don’t get reused. Recyclers don’t want them because buyers of these plastics aren’t interested in most of the types of plastic going through the system (and manufacturers are a huge part of the problem by choosing the cheapest and least recyclable materials for packaging). The incinerators want to burn it, as it makes “great fuel” to keep incinerators burning (“waste to energy” is a propaganda meme; it’s just waste, and it’s incredibly damaging to the environment).

    Our recycling efforts have sucked due to capitalist laziness and greed in the actual recycling business, and, yes, also because of citizens not giving a damn... But Apple, and every other manufacturer (and most businesses that have any kind of consumables), does far more damage in this regard than individual citizens. The sheer scale of waste put out by businesses (who aren’t usually required by their regional governments to do recycling at all, when the citizens areexpected to) far eclipses the waste put out by individuals.

    Ad Council propaganda on recycling and “good for the planet” activities is always aimed at individual citizens. That’s how the Ad Council protects corporations from responsibility; that’s what they exist for: propaganda. It literally was founded as a propaganda department; it used to be called “The War Council”. Despite their PR efforts, reality stays the same: the largest abuses of the environment, and the actual places that could make the most impact in halting our environmental destruction, are at the corporate level.

    Apple are not just an example of this; Apple are a major part of the problem.

    If this feel-good PR (disassembly robots, data centers powered by batteries and carbon offset credits, etc) leaves you content, you’re not paying enough attention. You are allowed to like Apple and Apple products if they make your life better in some way, but you really ought to be demanding more from them on environmental issues than expensive PR.

    TLDR most of your uninformed rant, but your bolded sentences are full of shit.

    - Apple's devices have the longest useful lifespans in the biz, which is why they have the highest resale value. My old devices become hand-me-downs for years.

    - Their packaging is the best I've ever seen and is basically just cardboard and highly recyclable (seriously what's wrong with you?).

    - Not readily user-serviceable isn't the same disposable -- I've both done my own repairs, and brought them in for repairs. And when finally shot, drop them off (or send them back for free) to be recycled.

    - And your last paragraph -- nuts. If you believe Apple's comprehensive, industry-leading policies and actions on environmental concerns are just PR, then you haven't been paying attention.
    edited January 2020 tmaybaconstangmwhiteGG1fastasleep
  • Reply 37 of 57
    Soli said:
    tht said:
    Device repair outfit iFixit chief executive suggests "There's this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it's not possible." 

    This quote from the ifixit CEO makes it seem that he and Lisa Jackson have different understandings of what closed loop manufacturing means. Or perhaps he is too deep in his own beliefs to think it is possible?

    Then, maybe the quote is taken out of context as surely he thinks that having 20, 30, 50% use of recycled materials is better than 0%. 
    This article has the headline stating it's to "end" mining, instead of a more reasonable reduction. I don't know if that's something Apple has stated or if how AI interpreted a desire to reduce mining, but as Apple grows in unit sales and into more product offerings, not to mention the number of devices that stay in use for years to come, even if they were Apple to use 100% of recycled material they'd still need to source outside their own device chain.

    Regardless of what Apple can achieve, this is a great thing.
    100% recycled material would in fact be an end to mining at least for Apple. Where that recycled material comes from is immaterial as it wouldn’t be from mining which is the whole point.

    If Apple could get this technology into the hands of the autoindustry then that would be a major coup for the planet.
    In developed countries in the EU, the auto-industry is further ahead when it comes to applying mass controlled destruction processes than Apple who is still demo-ing its single, small scale destruction robots that still hasn’t reached scale after all these years.
  • Reply 38 of 57
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,252member
    AppleZulu said:
    dysamoria said:

    As a person who cares a lot about these issues, I was at first totally impressed by this recycling robot stuff at Apple. I love robots and I love the notion of reclaiming materials.

    However, as a person who really does care a lot about these issues (and therefore pays attention to the finer details), I realized Apple’s robots are indeed largely a publicity thing.

    Apple are not the good guys here. They just market themselves as the good guys, and we believe them, because the marketing is powerful and because they do some good things. However, Apple don’t do most of the good things they could and should be doing. They fall well below the image they seem to be buying with marketing.

    There’s so much waste by Apple:

    • Apple sells short-life products, per their own efforts to get us to buy new things as rapidly as possible. They intentionally and arbitrarily abandon software updates on older devices (Snow Leopard is proof that a new version of an OS can be more compact and more efficient than all of its predecessors, and Apple hasn’t repeated that since, because Snow Leopard was merely the side-benefit of developing iOS). Apple are one of the typical cases of computer industry efforts at focusing only on selling new products, not on making existing ones continue to operate effectively. OS “Upgrades” are tools to sell more product, not improvements to the existing products.

    • Apple has environmentally-horrible packaging. Their luxurious packaging uses too many (and wastes new) materials. They present PR that’s basically about subsidizing the logging industry, rather than using post-consumer paper. They use needless piles of non-recyclable plastic films (while technically recyclable, there’s almost zero infrastructure for plastic film recycling in the USA, because of capitalism) to wrap products and accessories.

    • Apple’s products are designed-as-disposable. Yes, that’s what you’re making when you sell products that depend on sealed-in rechargeable batteries, which are inaccessible to customer replacement (even making it impossible to replace without literally rebuilding and refurbishing the product with some brand new materials). This is especially egregious in products that don’t need to be wireless! It’s not just batteries, though: the non-modular, and inaccessible nature of their products means that any failure of any kind means a likely monolithic replacement if not a replacement of the entire device. There is proof that fewer connectors and joints results in better reliability, but the environmental impact here of disposable electronics is worth backing off a bit on the monolithic design.

    • IFixit (yes I know people here despise them, but they make relevant points we need to consider about Apple’s environmental impact), recently wrote about iPhones/iPads being shredded or disassembled instead of being resold for second-hand ownership due to activation lock. Macs with T2 chips are in line for the same treatment. This is a problem. We cannot trash the environment for the sake of absolutist data security. I know you guys malign iFixIt as having self-interest in the second-hand market, but this is still a relevant issue. Manufacturing new devices serves Apple, while second-hand ownership does not. Manufacturing new products to sell to customers uses far more more materials and energy than does the reuse of existing, intact products.

    Some of the problem is the culture of waste in the USA. It’s not just the obsession with having new gadgets; we barely recycle anything anymore. I don’t just mean people are lazy jerks about recycling (my neighbor is a perfect example of that). As a nation, we literally do not have recycling systems in place for most materials. Incinerator-selling corporations are actively competing against recycling systems. The collected materials aren’t going anywhere now that China has decided to stop taking our single-stream waste (basically the recyclable materials were useless the way we collect and ship them out; it’s entirely our own fault). The recycling we were doing was minimal even before that. Most plastics don’t get reused. Recyclers don’t want them because buyers of these plastics aren’t interested in most of the types of plastic going through the system (and manufacturers are a huge part of the problem by choosing the cheapest and least recyclable materials for packaging). The incinerators want to burn it, as it makes “great fuel” to keep incinerators burning (“waste to energy” is a propaganda meme; it’s just waste, and it’s incredibly damaging to the environment).

    Our recycling efforts have sucked due to capitalist laziness and greed in the actual recycling business, and, yes, also because of citizens not giving a damn... But Apple, and every other manufacturer (and most businesses that have any kind of consumables), does far more damage in this regard than individual citizens. The sheer scale of waste put out by businesses (who aren’t usually required by their regional governments to do recycling at all, when the citizens areexpected to) far eclipses the waste put out by individuals.

    Ad Council propaganda on recycling and “good for the planet” activities is always aimed at individual citizens. That’s how the Ad Council protects corporations from responsibility; that’s what they exist for: propaganda. It literally was founded as a propaganda department; it used to be called “The War Council”. Despite their PR efforts, reality stays the same: the largest abuses of the environment, and the actual places that could make the most impact in halting our environmental destruction, are at the corporate level.

    Apple are not just an example of this; Apple are a major part of the problem.

    If this feel-good PR (disassembly robots, data centers powered by batteries and carbon offset credits, etc) leaves you content, you’re not paying enough attention. You are allowed to like Apple and Apple products if they make your life better in some way, but you really ought to be demanding more from them on environmental issues than expensive PR.

    So many assumptions. I’ll just touch on a few.

    Short-life products. That’s a consumer demand that will always exist in new technology. A tech company that makes any computer device with an expected, say, ten-year lifespan will fail. If Apple was still selling the iPhone 3GS, they would go out of business. 

    Sealed batteries. The assumption here is that devices with consumer-accessible batteries would be kept longer, thus lowering the negative environmental impact. In truth, it would actually result in a huge market for third-party batteries. Rather than keeping devices charged, consumers would buy multiple cheap batteries so they could swap them out a few times a day. (If you’re old enough to have had a pre-iPhone cell phone, you probably did this.) Lots of those batteries would end up lost or tossed in the trash. As it is now, you can get your iPhone battery replaced at an Apple store where it will be recovered through their recycling program, or at least a third-party shop where it’s more likely to be recycled than would consumer-swappable batteries. The same scenario is true if considering consumer swappable memory or other hardware upgrades. “Right to repair” is not the Shangri-La people think it is. The old days of shade-tre mechanics working on cars was the old days of shade-tree mechanics dumping oil out on the ground or into the storm sewers.

    Recycling. Much has been written about this recently. The problem with recycling is not so much about consumers’ failure to do their duty. It’s about manufacturers externalizing costs and responsibility to the consumer. Back in the day, you could bring your milk and soda bottles back to the grocery store, and there was a system for cleaning and reusing them. That was all replaced with disposable plastic, shifting costs and responsibility to the consumer. The idea that Apple is creating a closed-loop system for recovering materials from devices is actually a rare example of a manufacturer re-absorbing costs and responsibility from the consumer. It’s not a leap to assume that their manufacturing design will take into account the requirements of their disassembly and recovery processes. 

    No Apple’s not perfect, and there’s certainly a PR component to this, but Apple doesn’t do things like this just as fluff.
    Nailed it. I remember those pre-iPhone days, and yes, I had backup batteries for my old Nokias laying around. 

    And for long-life, my previous iMac went 8 years before something on the logic board failed. At that point machines were so much better (including the screens!) that there was no question I'd replace it and recycle the old one. And, the new one uses *10 pounds less* in materials, a full third of the 2011's weight. This is great for everyone.

    Oh but Apple BAAAAAD!
    baconstangmwhitefastasleep
  • Reply 39 of 57
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,811member
    Soli said:
    tht said:
    Device repair outfit iFixit chief executive suggests "There's this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it's not possible." 

    This quote from the ifixit CEO makes it seem that he and Lisa Jackson have different understandings of what closed loop manufacturing means. Or perhaps he is too deep in his own beliefs to think it is possible?

    Then, maybe the quote is taken out of context as surely he thinks that having 20, 30, 50% use of recycled materials is better than 0%. 
    This article has the headline stating it's to "end" mining, instead of a more reasonable reduction. I don't know if that's something Apple has stated or if how AI interpreted a desire to reduce mining, but as Apple grows in unit sales and into more product offerings, not to mention the number of devices that stay in use for years to come, even if they were Apple to use 100% of recycled material they'd still need to source outside their own device chain.

    Regardless of what Apple can achieve, this is a great thing.
    100% recycled material would in fact be an end to mining at least for Apple. Where that recycled material comes from is immaterial as it wouldn’t be from mining which is the whole point.

    If Apple could get this technology into the hands of the autoindustry then that would be a major coup for the planet.
    In developed countries in the EU, the auto-industry is further ahead when it comes to applying mass controlled destruction processes than Apple who is still demo-ing its single, small scale destruction robots that still hasn’t reached scale after all these years.
    15 million vehicles are sold in the EU each year, at let's say an average weight of 2000 kg.

    That's 30 billion Kg of recycling that has to be accommodated each year compared to 30 million Kg just in iPhones, or three magnitudes of difference in mass.

    The automotive industry in the EU would have to be recycling 99.9% of its waste to be at the same amount of waste that Apple would be at while not recycling at all.

    Given the amount of Electronics in modern vehicles, I'd venture that the EU has a massive waste problem no matter how much further ahead the industry is over Apple in "mass controlled destruction processes", which mainly recovers steel.

    Edit:

    In fairness, the EU doesn't actually have to recycle 100% of all vehicles manufactured and sold in the EU, since there is a ready market in Africa, and other countries for used vehicles; maybe something on the order of 4 million vehicles a year, from my readings.
    edited January 2020 SolibaconstangmwhiteGG1
  • Reply 40 of 57
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,167member
    hucom2000 said:
    lkrupp said:
    mr lizard said:
    Can Daisy recover cobalt, or will Apple’s suppliers still rely on children to mine that for them? 
    Yes, Apple and all manufacturers will continue to rely on children to mine cobalt for them. What's your dumbass point? And whose fault is it that children are working in those mines? The manufacturers or the governments of the countries the mines exist in that allow it? I vote the corrupt governments who have no decency and respect for their citizens. People like you are always after the "gotcha" moment but can never offer a solution, can you?
    And what do exactly is your solution? 

    Why didn’t you mention consumers and capitalism itself when listing entities at fault? 

    It’s a free market, after all. And when demand exceeds supply, and companies like Apple choose to source materials from questionable sources to meet that demand, really, we consumers (myself included) are responsible for our hunger in new devices. 
    And please tell us when you decide to stop buying things.
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