A report by Bloomberg has show the process under which phones, tablets and computers manufactured by Apple are recycled.
It showed that when an Apple product is handed in at an Apple store for recycling, it is assessed to see if it can be repaired and reused by selling it on the used product market.
But if it is beyond repair, then it is sent to one of a handful of recycling plants around the world that meet Apple’s strict recycling criteria, which according to Bloomberg are the most rigid and exacting in the electronics market.
Apple head of environmental affairs Lisa Jackson said: “I think people expect it of us, I think our customers hold us to a high standard.”
This includes the products being deconstructed in vacuum sealed rooms to capture any chemicals or gases that emerge during the process.
Only Apple products can be recycled in the process and must not be mixed with other company products.
This is to ensure that Apple staff can monitor the recycling process at all times, and ensure that all products are wiped and logos removed.
While some companies allow components such as chips to be reused in reconditioned products, or in new niche products, Apple insists that all components are destroyed and where possible recycled.
This is to avoid fake Apple products turning up on the secondary market.
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Any hazardous waste is stored at specialist facilities, while the recycling partners sell extracted metals such as gold and copper. The rest is turned into aluminium frames and furniture or glass tiles.