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The story of Apple not giving away a charger to protect the environment: much more complicated than we think

In fact, Apple has chosen both aspects: the benefit of the business and the benefit of the environment. This is undeniable, but which side is more controversial is probably still. The assumption that Apple makes is that customers who buy new iPhones already have old headphones and chargers ready to use. If they don’t have headphones, they can spend money to buy AirPods, Apple will be happy then but our planet is not. If this year, Apple’s sales are comparable to 2018 – about 217 million iPhones, and only 5% of them decide to add AirPods to their shopping cart, the company could make $ 700 million in profit merge.

The problem is that buying a charger or headset separately can cause a lot of waste and greenhouse gases to continue to contribute to the environment. “This will be a huge piece of cake, at least in the short term for accessory makers selling USB-C chargers,” said Avi Greengart, founder and lead analyst at consulting firm Techsponential. The cable that comes with the iPhone 12 is a USB-C to Lightning cable, which means it will not be compatible with chargers donated from previous iPhones. wireless charging.


There is another reason that removing accessories probably won’t lead to greenhouse gas cuts as much as Apple predicts. The new iPhone 12 will be shipped in smaller packaging as the box will hold less inventory. That allows 70% more boxes to be shipped per pallet, according to the company. According to the company, more boxes per pallet will cut the number of trips required, thereby reducing the amount of emissions those vehicles are releasing into the environment. Sara Behdad, associate professor of environmental science and engineering at the University of Florida, thinks in real life things are not that simple.

There is more free space per package, which does not mean that each such package has to be filled. “The shipping to the stores is based on demand. The fill density of a pallet can depend on how many phones a retailer thinks they will sell, and how much space is left on each package. Therefore, smaller packaging does not necessarily result in a significant reduction in shipping dodo emissions, “explains Behdad. According to Behdad, manufacturers claiming their products are more eco-friendly. for researchers asking so many questions.


That uncertainty leaves skepticism, especially when it comes to changes that address big problems like climate change or e-waste. “Selling the new iPhone 12 with or without the included headphones or charger leaves us wondering about a bigger question: why Apple and other electronics companies are not in any greater responsibility for re-production. use and recycle their products, which are largely still handled in the US and globally, “Scott Cassel, CEO of the Nonprofit Product Management Institute, said in an email. The Verge.

The company will make a bigger impact if it makes it easier for sold products to be refurbished so that they don’t become “outdated and worn after a few years,” Cassel writes. For example, Apple’s AirPods wireless earbuds have a much shorter lifespan than traditional headphones because it’s difficult to replace the lithium-ion battery inside, not to mention other complicated electronic components.

In July this year, Apple pledged to become a carbon-free company by 2030, and launched a new robot called “Dave” to disassemble old iPhones and reclaim reusable materials. . “Historically, I feel that they are already at the forefront when it comes to climate change. The company’s influence on the industry and consumer behavior leaves a lot of responsibility. There are still many things they can do in the future, “said Zino.

Source: The Verge


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