Apple Drops EPEAT Green Standard
According to iFixit, Apple has ditched the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). Apple will be pulling all their products from the leading green consumer electronics standard, which was designed to help mitigate the negative impact electronic manufacturing has on the environment and society. This is of course done by requiring products to meet eight specific "performance categories" which include but are not limited to product lifetime, toxic materials and of course ease of recycling of components and materials. With that said, Apple had originally been Gold Certified by the EPEAT and they even widely trumpeted this on their various products over the years. These kinds of green standards have a huge impact on making the electronics industry itself more environmentally friendly. That and with government agencies unable to purchase products that do not meet the EPEAT standard means that companies that do not abide by it not only fail to meet said standard they also lose out on possible government contracts. It is rather sad to see that Apple would opt out of these basic eco-standards that help the environment and recyclers in order to save on costs. This of course comes down to how Apple designs their products, instead of making it easier for recyclers to dispose of electronic waste via dissassembly, Apple uses industrial-strength adhesives on things like the battery, which if forced from the case can puncture them causing hazardous material to leak out. Essentially Apple has opted out of a green standard, given up possible government contracts all for the sake of a slightly cheaper design, which is more important to them than the environment or recycling.
According to my EPEAT contacts, Apple’s mobile design direction is in conflict with the intended direction of the standard. Specifically, the standard lays out particular requirements for product “disassemble-ability,” a very important consideration for recycling: “External enclosures, chassis, and electronic subassemblies shall be removable with commonly available tools or by hand.” Electronics recyclers need to take out hazardous components such as batteries before sending computers through their shredders, because batteries can catch fire when punctured.
Posted by | Sat, Jul 07, 2012 - 06:48 PM