Sustainability experts welcome Apple’s move to scrap iPhone accessories
Apple’s decision to remove the charger and headphones from iPhone 12 boxes has been well received by environmentalists, although the tech giant has been pressed to go much further in reducing its impact on the environment.
Apple recently announced that all of the four upcoming iPhone 12 models will not include a charging adaptor or the wired headphones that have been commonplace in iPhone boxes for years. As a result, iPhone boxes will be considerably smaller, and Apple says it will be able to fit 70% more iPhones onto a shipping pallet.
Lisa Jackson, Apple VP of environment, policy and social initiatives, said: “We know that customers have been accumulating USB power adapters, and that producing millions of unneeded adapters consumes resources and adds to our carbon footprint.”
Jackson said Apple believes there to be over 700 million pairs of wired EarPods and around 2 billion power adapters in circulation around the world. “And that’s not counting the billions of third-party adapters,” she said in a presentation from the roof of Apple Park.
In July, Apple said it is working toward having a net zero carbon impact by 2030. The likes of Google and Facebook have made similar commitments.
McDonald’s pushes sustainability initiatives to the forefront
McDonald’s recently teamed up with The Nature Conservancy, Cargill and Target to invest in a more sustainable beef supply chain. It’s also partnering with New Jersey-based TerraCycle to test out a zero-waste solution for cups.
“To secure a thriving food system for future generations, McDonald’s and the broader food industry has a significant opportunity—and responsibility—to collectively help mitigate the impact of climate change, accelerate a circular economy, and find more sustainable ways to feed people,” said Elaine Strunk, director of global sustainability at McDonald’s. “We also know that sustainability is an important part of what makes our customers feel good about our food and we don’t expect that to change.”
Overall, the brand hopes the project will have equivalent of removing 32,000 cars from the road in one year by preventing 150 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Another way to think of that goal: Planting 3.8 billion trees and growing them for 10 years.
The investment will also further McDonald’s progress toward meeting its Science Based Target Initiative to reduce greenhouse emissions by 31 percent (per ton of food and packaging) across its supply chain, restaurants and offices by 2030.
With a push for all companies to reduce single-use plastic, McDonald’s is also partnering with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to test out a zero-waste cup solution.
“Reusable packaging is one potential solution that we want to test as part of a broader suite of strategies and tools that will be needed to advance circular solutions and keep waste out of nature,” Strunk said. “Through this pilot, we’re excited to learn how reusable packaging for on-the-go use could fit with our system.”