In a recent report, Apple has retrieved $40 million worth of gold by recycling their old devices.
Apple takes recycling very seriously. Last month, they unveiled a specially designed robotic system called Liam which can take apart 1.2 million devices a year. Liam’s main job is to recover valuable material from devices that can be reused. Recently, Apple also announced that they would be donating sales of select apps in April to the World Wildlife Fund amid its growing focus on environmental issues.
In their efforts to support the environment and portray Apple as the greenest company in Silicon Valley, they release their annual environment report on Thursday. According to the report, Apple recovered over 61 million pounds of steel, aluminum, glass, and other materials. Included in it is 2,204 pounds of gold. To put things in perspective this is well over a ton of gold retrieved from old Apple devices. In accordance with the price of gold in USA – which is $1,229.80 per troy ounce of gold in case you’re interested – Apple’s old devices just bought them $40 million.
So where did all this gold come from? Turns out it is not that unusual. According to Fairphone, an activist group focused on electronics supply chains, the average smartphone uses 30 milligrams of gold, mostly in circuit boards and other internal components. And Apple recycles millions of iPhones and other computers that have tiny bits of gold in them. Not to forget their special edition Apple Watches which have an estimated 50 grams of 18-karat gold in them. Those would definitely be very few in number. A person buying a $10,000 special edition Apple Watch won’t turn it back in under a year.