Our generation produces more waste than is healthy for our environment. Most people who think about recycling generally think of everyday trash including plastic wrappers, bottles, boxes and paper but there are other things that can be recycled such as e-waste. E- waste is a much larger problem than people realize. 41.8 million tons were produced in 2014 and this needs to change. Apple realizes this problem and is working on a solution. While the solution is still in the early stages and it will not be able to recycle all of the waste that they produce, it is a step in the right direction. First, Apple refurbishes phones and sells them to a second or third owner however this is not possible with all old iPhones. They recently released their attempt to recycle those phones that are beyond repair and it is called Liam. Liam is a robot that disassembles iPhones at a rate of one every eleven seconds. The parts of the iPhone are taken apart and separated into those that can be used and those that cannot.
While this may sound like a solution to the problem there are many factors to be considered. The article discusses the obstacles that Liam is unable to overcome. The first problem is that it is very difficult for Apple to get all of their old products back. There are millions of iPhones being used around the world and people dispose of them in many different ways, which makes it nearly impossible for Apple to track down and properly recycle all of them. Another problem is that Liam is currently only able to disassemble the iPhone 6s. While Apple hopes to create different versions of Liam in the future to deal with other devices, right now only a very small percentage of Apple products can be recycled in this way. Finally, in order to deal with the amount of Apple products that are sold and used around the world, many more of these robots will need to be built and distributed to e-waste recyclers around the world. Although there are clearly many issues with Liam, environmentalists are impressed with Apple’s attempt to deal with the effects of their products on the environment.
The article effectively described not only the problem of e-waste but also the robot and what is does with the Apple product as well as how it is beneficial. The article also addressed the problems that come with recycling Apple products and Apple’s hope for the future of recycling robots. However, the article lacked explanation of when and how Apple would be releasing new products to solve these problems. Also the article could have been clearer about where Apple products generally end up after they are disposed, and how Apple might be able to recover these products.
Wiens, Kyle. "Apple’s Recycling Robot Needs Your Help to Save the World." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 24 Mar. 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.
Volcovici, Valerie. "Apple's Robot Rips Apart IPhones for Recycling." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 21 Mar. 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.