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Apple's Environmental VP Dreams of Future Apple Products made of Bioplastics in Tough Australian Interview

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Last week Patently Apple posted an extensive report titled "Amnesty International Says Apple Leads the way in Tracing Cobalt Mines that use Child Labor, but more Action is needed." Today we're leaning that Apple wants to eventually use 100% recycled and renewable materials like bioplastics to make future iPhones, MacBooks and other devices in a bid to reduce its reliance on raw materials.


Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, told and Australian publication that when it comes to renewable material, "We're working like gangbusters on that. As far as I know, we're the only company in the sector trying to figure that out. Most people talk about recycling electronics but the material is not necessarily used in new electronics."


Yet every time Apple is in the spotlight regarding the child labor in Africa over materials, or they publish their environmental report Jackson gets out in the press with the same story. When Apple's latest environmental report was published they noted the following:


"Traditional supply chains are linear. Materials are mined, manufactured as products, and often end up in landfills after use. Then the process starts over and more materials are extracted from the earth for new products. We believe our goal should be a closed-loop supply chain, where products are built using only renewable resources or recycled material. We're also challenging ourselves to one day end our reliance on mining altogether."


But in the end Jackson told told VICE news that Apple doesn't know how it will be achieved.


CNBC doing a report on Jackson's statements in April got an email response by Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices at IDC who stated that "A totally recycled smartphone will help Apple to increase loyalty among eco-friendly consumers and eventually reduce their production costs by using some of the components from older phones."


Though at the time, a Forbes contributed writing on Apple's environmental report stated that "I can see the public relations value of this as there are all too many people who, entirely wrongly, think that we're on the verge of running out of useful deposits of metals out there. But as an actual real world target it's very strange indeed, verging upon nonsense in fact."


Yet despite the negatives, Amnesty International's report that we covered last week pointed to a single company that stood out as going the extra mile to make a difference in the fight against artisanal mines and it was Apple.


In light of some positives from Apple, the Australian report was determined to stay on the negative. Although Jackson pointed out that Apple engineers worked to produce "low carbon aluminum" used in the iPhone 8 as a part of its continued quest to produce greener products, the report decided to shift and argue that the company was fighting outside repairs of it's products with iFixit who has been leading the fight legislatively.


The article shifted a last time pointing to Apple's shady tax avoidance and Jackson's politics against the current administration. Jackson stood her ground on Apple's position at every twist of the interview which you could read in full here.


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