Currently, the company purchases the recycled materials from an external supplier. However, Apple is also working to use robots that are already used to recycle larger components and recover rare-earth metals. It is also being investigated how traditional recycling machines can be improved in which a device is substantially shredded to its base materials in order to save at least a small amount of rare earth metals. What makes the recycling of rare earth metals difficult is the fact that they are usually tiny, which makes them easily damaged.
It is crucial that we find a way to effectively reuse and recycle rare earths when we have a chance to effectively tackle climate change. The 1
Beyond its environmental benefits, the move could help Apple overcome a potential supply shortage as China-US trade relations continue to deteriorate. China is currently promoting 80 percent of the world's rare earth supply, and the country has threatened to restrict exports to the US if the trade war between the two countries continues to escalate. Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, told Reuters that the decision to use more recycled materials was not related to commercial tensions, but added, "This is one of those lucky coincidences where which is good for the planet and at the same time really good for the business. "