Apple reveals impact of iPhone recycling scheme

Apple iPhone SERecycling is an important part of modern life, making common activities and purchases more sustainable. Apple is just one of the major mobile manufacturers doing more to improve the eco-friendliness of their operations.

Last week it announced that its efforts to recycle old iPhones had allowed it to reclaim almost 28 million kilos of precious materials, including everything from plastic and glass to steel and nickel, according to business insider.

It also recovered gold worth £28.3 million and copper worth £4.2 million from the iPhones that its customers parted ways with when the time came to upgrade to new iPhones like the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE.

Valuable metals like these are used in many components of modern smartphones, including the circuit boards and processors. And while each device has a relatively small quantity of such materials, the large number of iPhones sold and eventually reclaimed for recycling means that this can add up quickly.

There is no question that companies like Apple do not choose to recycle smartphones for altruistic reasons, since in most cases people will receive a payment when they agree to give their old handset to a manufacturer. But these figures reveal just how valuable the recycling process can be.