How We Knew About Apple's "Recycled Content" Plan 2 Years Ago!

Big announcement, just out, from Apple CEO - Apple will produce its electronics from 100% recycled material, not from virgin mining.

It's reported from Apple's just-released 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report.  It's bound to hit all the Earth Day news outlets this weekend.

Sourcing recycled content, creating a demand-pull effect, was what we were working on when I started at Massachusetts DEP in 1992.  It can be very big news.

Question:  How did I know about this almost 2 years before Apple's announcement?

Apple doesn't make its own stuff.  It's generally put together by a Shenzhen contract manufacturer like Foxconn or Wistron, which the blog has focused on many times.

Guess how we knew about Hong Kong EcoPark when we allowed a trial load of printers to go to Hong Kong - when our E-Steward downstream wouldn't pick up after several loads to their shredder?  When the BAN GPS Tracker was in our facility, and suddenly our shipments were mysteriously cancelled?

When I did background check on why Hong Kong would be paying for printer scrap again, before approving to the Chicago downstream replacing the E-Steward, I found that the $550M EcoPark tenants were sourcing scrap for plastic to be sold to a contract manufacturer in Shenzhen.   One who made devices with a major brand name label.

I had thought it was probably Acer (owned in common by founder of Wistron).

But there you go.

This was part of the story when I was told, after the BAN report, that our printer scrap didn't go to the EcoPark because it was overstocked and the expansion wasn't ready yet.  It's not a great excuse.

But the people I was talking to, making the excuse about letting "non-chemical waste" go to scrap metal yards because they couldn't let the PCs and displays go, they were the people who told me a major manufacturer was going to 100% recycled content in the near future.

Across the bay, in Shenzhen.

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