Apple now using 100 percent recycled aluminum in new Air, Mac mini
One of the more interesting announcements from Apple’s latest event is that the company is now using 100 percent recycled aluminum to make its new Mac mini and MacBook Air. In a world with limited resources, increasing the sustainability of its products has long been an Apple goal, but this is an impressive breakthrough; particularly for a company that ships millions upon millions of devices made using aluminum.
According to Apple’s Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Laura Legros, the Apple’s metallurgy team has found a way to use the excess aluminum from the production process to create its new, more sustainable alloy. Given that Apple has, in the past boasted of how it carves its unibody MacBooks, for example, from complete blocks of aluminum, that is a lot of aluminum shavings that have gone to waste in the past. This is no longer the case, as Apple is now collecting these off cuts and shavings and completely recycling them.
The aluminum is completely reengineered down to the atomic level. “We use aluminum because it has incredible strength, durability, and sheer beauty,” said Legros. “To achieve that, we’ve had to rely on mining high purity ore. That is, until today.” Also involved in the development of the new alloy are mining companies Alcoa and Rio Tinto, along with the Canadian government. In total, the group has invested US$144 billion to create the new alloy without adding directly to greenhouse gas emissions.
If you are concerned about the environmental impact of e-waste, but love technology, Apple is leading the way in sustainability by some measure.