Apple, sitting on a goldmine, quite literally…


While you might not expect Apple’s Environmental Responsibility Report to be that interesting, you’d be surprised. One nugget of interest was that Apple managed to produce one metric tonne of gold through recycling old iPhones in 2015.

That’s the equivalent of £28 million worth of gold! 

Now who said recycling was boring…

And it wasn’t just gold that Apple managed to recycle, they also produced three tonnes of silver and 1,300 tonnes of copper.

A recycling scheme worth it’s weight in gold

The recycled devices were part of the Apple Renew scheme – where people are encouraged to hand in their old iPhone for money off a new Apple device.

A large part of the recycling is done by Apple’s prototype Liam robots, which you can watch deftly dismantling an iPhone in the video below:

Apple uses gold and silver in its devices because, although they’re a little pricey, they’re excellent conductors and are less likely to corrode than cheaper alternatives such as aluminium.

But if you’re wondering whether its worth cracking open all those old iPhones languishing in the draw, think again, according to Fairphone the average smartphone contains around 30 milligrams of gold – so you’d need an awful lot of devices to create even one gold bar!

Apple recycling