Apple’s New iPhone Is Far From Green

“Apple’s new product lineup — four different models of iPhone 12, between the normal, “Pro,” and “Mini” variants — are rolling out starting this week. When they were announced during a customary press event, the company made sure to spotlight their environmental bona fides.

In a sleek two and a half minute overview, Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives, explained that the iPhone 12 uses more recyclable materials than past models, including 100% recycled rare earth metals in its magnets. The phone’s carbon footprint is a bit lighter, too, thanks to Apple’s ongoing effort to decarbonize its supply chain. And in a move that feels long overdue, Apple won’t be giving you a new wall charger or Lightning headphone set with the iPhone 12, sparing overstuffed desk drawers around the world while reducing an obvious source of waste.

It all sounds very impressive. And Apple does deserve kudos for the work it’s doing to clean up its supply chain and recycle more. But by feeding the public a steady drip of environmental wins, Apple continues to shift our focus away from the planetary problem epitomized by each successive product launch: The company’s goal is to sell us more stuff all the time.”

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