Encourage Apple to Reduce Electronic Waste by Developing Built-to-Last Products

Target: Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Goal: Reduce electronic waste by developing longer lasting products

A few days a year, Apple customers can be found standing in lines that sometimes stretch for blocks, anxiously awaiting their turn to buy the newest edition of an Apple product they probably already have. Their “old” model will be either resold or recycled. Apple claims it is being responsible by encouraging customers to hand in old products for refurbishing or recycling, but with plenty of evidence showing how detrimental e-waste is for the environment, it seems Apple could be even more responsible by making products that are built to last instead of built to be disposed. Call on Apple to chance its policies.

The greedy and wasteful days of planned obsolescence, making products with the intention of having them become outdated shortly after purchase, are rapidly coming to an end. Limited resources and increased pollution will force manufacturers to find ways to cut back on unnecessary waste.

Despite Apple’s claims that they “recycle responsibly” by recycling domestically, recycling e-waste can still cause lead, mercury, and other toxic materials to leak from landfills and threaten groundwater supplies. If the waste is shipped overseas for recycling (like most of the 300 to 400 thousand¬†tons of electronics collected each year for recycling), peasants are forced to spend their days living in toxic e-waste dumps where they melt plastic wires in order to retrieve the copper inside them. The fumes have been known to cause heart disease, cancer, lung problems and can even modify DNA. As the leader in cutting edge technology, Apple has an opportunity to set an example for other companies by making durable items that don’t encourage our consumer culture to buy products with the intention of tossing them out a year later.

By signing this petition, you are encouraging Apple to be environmentally responsible by spending more time developing products that are made to last instead of made to be thrown out.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Tim Cook,

Each year, Apple introduces a new edition of at least one of its products. Although Apple claims to be responsible by encouraging customers to hand in products to be refurbished or recycled, that’s not good enough. With all the knowledge and technological know-how your engineers possess, it’s hard to believe they can’t develop a product that is made to last and have updates installed rather than having customers buy an entirely new product each year.

Although recycling is better than just disposing of products and filling in landfills, more and more evidence is coming to light on how recycling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The process of recycling electronics can cause lead, mercury, and other toxins to leak into our groundwater.

As one of the most innovative technology companies in the world, we urge you to set an example for other electronics manufacturers by developing products that are built to last.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: geograph.org.uk

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7 Comments

  1. The imposition of constant advertising has kept most people in a state of constant discontent. Causing them to think they always need the latest model of products that should have been built to last instead of to throw out. Apple is not only creating more potential for e-waste, but they are perpetuating the idea that we can’t be satisfied with what we have. Making people think they have to constantly throw out the old to make room for the new…no matter how much unnecessary waste and pollution it creates.

    • You are assuming that, when someone replaces an Apple product, they throw the old one into the trash. Nothing could be further from the facts.

      Check out the ads for used or refurbished Apple products. Apple even has a factory refurbishing center and sells some refurbished products themselves.

      Many people know that a product a few years old will meet their needs beautifully. That’s why I have an almost 5 y/o iMac and an 8 y/o laptop. They meet my needs very well. I make videos and do photo editing with no glitches and no worries.

      I know it’s easier to throw rocks at a large target than it is to examine the truth and think for yourself, but I recommend it to you. I could save you a lot of money as well as embarrassment.

      • Did you read the petition? It accounted for refurbishing. It stated that Apple does offer or encourage recycling and refurbishing of old products. But the fact that Apple is a leader in technology and has made planned obsolescence a part of its marketing strategy, was cause for it to be the target I chose to throw rocks at. People with five year old MacBooks are the exception, not the rule. If you read about Apple and e-waste on something other than the mac website, you’ll find that they are, in fact, responsible for creating an e-waste problem as well as a society that doesn’t value quality but instead waits for the next newest and shiny thing, regardless of how bad it is for the planet. Not buying into corporate propaganda is an excellent way of “thinking for yourself” and “examining the truth.”

        • Yes, I read the petition. You clearly didn’t read my post or you have a comprehension deficit the size of the moon.

          FYI,I saiid PowerBook, and 7 years old. Nor do I read the Mac website.

          It is not my fault you have the mental agility of a soapdish.

          If you had taken Econ 101, you would understand the difference between price and value, too. That’s why Apple products cost more than the competition.

          You should try thinking for your self and examining the truth, if those are not too far outside your mental capabilities.

          • Hey maaaaan, relax. I’m just writing petitions here and there to draw people’s attention to things they might not think about otherwise. It’s not really worth getting angry over, is it? It’s pointless and boring to get combative with a total stranger. Best of luck…

          • Yes, of course you are “just writing petitions” No point in allowing little things like facts to bother you then.

            Angy? Only in your mind. You seem a bit defensive yourself. Or is it just that you’re pissed off because someone tells the truth and points out your own careless errors? I admit, I do have a character flaw. I have never had any patience with those that are willfully ignorant and don’t care about it.

            You have no idea what combative it. Pointing out the ignorance that you display is not combative, it’s descriptive. If you don;t like the description, change your attitude and don’t be purposely ignorant.

  2. Making Apple built products that last? FYI, they already do. I have a PowerBook laptop that is well over 7 years old and an iMac that’s going on 5 years old. I use both every day and they both function perfectly.

    Your efforts would be better directed at H-P and Dell. Both of them build products to a price point and are made with the cheapest components possible. Yes, they do use the same processor chips, but other items are low cost and quality control is a fraction of Apple’s

    I am speaking as someone who has owned and used products from all of these companies as well as servicing them. Toshiba and Lenovo build quality products and their systems and accessories last much better.

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