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Cool Links

Apple Computers

During the design of their products Apple use a number of eco-design strategies inlcusing: extending the life of the product, initiating 'take back' mechanisms for customers to return the product at the end of its useful life, design for disassembly, recycling, reuse and remanufacturing.

  • Product life extension: Apple have two main strategies to extend product life:
    • durability: through the use of materials which withstand prolonged use and are resistant to stains and scratches, such as ultratough polycarbonate enclosures (used in bullet-proof glass) and aluminum
    • upgradability: also termed 'design for expandability' - Apple increase the useful life of the product and reduce premature disposal due to technical obsolescence by enabling users to upgrade the product and expand its capabilities.
  • Take Back:
    • in the United States all used toner cartridges may be returned to a collection centre free of charge using a pre-paid mailing label.
    • the mailing label is part of the brochure that is contained within the toner cartridge packaging.
    • in Europe certain cartridges may be returned using a pre-paid mailing label for that country. 
    • other cartridges may be returned to a local Apple authorized dealer who will then forward the used cartridge to a collection centre.
  • End of life: the used cartridges received at the collection centres are returned to the original suppliers for recycling.
    • 95% by weight, of the toner cartridge material
      can be recycled and utilized.
    • metal parts such as springs and axles are cleaned,
      inspected, and reused if quality standards are met.
    • plastic housings are usually ground up and moulded in other plastic applications.

Source: Apple, 'Apple and the Global Environment', (accessed 2005)

For More Information

For more information on Apple's approach to ecodesign visit: