iPhone 15 to cause an influx of e-waste, research predicts


Apple iPhone

A new study by Uswitch.com predicts Apple changing the charging port on its new iPhone 15 series could cause a “serious influx of e-waste”.

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max which feature a USB-C charging port rather than a lightning port to comply with European Union (EU) rules. The Uswitch.com study predicts the change will lead to an increase in e-waste as it will leave many chargers obsolete.

Last year (2022), the European Parliament voted in favour of new rules that require all mobile phones, tablets, cameras and other small devices sold in the EU to be equipped with a USB-C charging port before the end of 2024. Apple executive Greg Joswiak said the company had “no choice” but to follow the new EU rules.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max sustainability

Apple iPhone

Apple has a goal of making every product it produces carbon neutral by 2030 and completely removing plastic from its packaging by 2025. The tech giant also says it is “prioritising” clean electricity across its supply chain and designing products with recycled and other low-carbon materials.

In what it describes as a “first” for the company, Apple says the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max now use 100% recycled aluminium substructure, 100% recycled cobalt in the battery, and 100% recycled rare earth elements in all magnets.

Apple also uses 100% recycled gold in the USB‑C connector, as well as the gold plating and tin soldering in multiple printed circuit boards. Both models are free of mercury, PVC, and beryllium, Apple says, and over 99% of the packaging is fibre-based.

Apple has also committed to no longer using leather in any of its products, including iPhone accessories. The material for its new case and wallet is made from 68% post-consumer recycled content and, Apple says, it has “significantly” lower carbon emissions compared to leather.

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