On Monday, the renowned iPhone producer Apple Inc revealed, Liam, a robot managed system that can rip apart economically depreciated iPhones and redeem important materials which can be reused, for example materials such as silver and tungsten.
The move comes in an effort to deal with the disapproval that the company’s products have faced from critics who argued that although the gadgets are attractive and without fault in their design, they are also so firmly fixed that their parts are extremely difficult to separate, revamp and recycle.
The new robotic system, Liam, which has been in the developmental process for close to three years, according to the firm, will pay particular attention to the iPhone 6. The company intends to revamp and evolve the system to help it tackle various other gadgets and redeem more materials for recycling.
The system, which was introduced fully last month has the ability to rip one iPhone 6 apart every 11 seconds and redeem its valuable metals, such as aluminum, copper, gold, silver tin and tungsten, according to the information provided by Apple.
At this rate and if the system worked without any interference or delays, it is estimated that around several million phones can be tackled by Liam in a year, however this is an insignificant fraction when compared to the over 231 million phones sold by the company in the year just ended.
Although Greenpeace applauded the move by Apple in view of its commitment to reduce the amount of products having to be disposed of in landfills, however they still had concerns about the how much of an extent the robotic system will actually have on the overall net volumes of the iPhones being recycled.
The companies which normally deal with the recycling of electronic waste and handle larger volumes of disposed iPhones will not access to Liam.
Gary Cook, senior IT analyst for Greenpeace said:
“If it’s easy for a robot, that’s great… But making it easier for a human, who will be doing most of this, is part of the solution.”
Greenpeace has encouraged the company to create more of their products using the recycled matter and to enable their devices to be easily taken apart.
According to Cook, Apple has been on the frontline with regard to matters concerning the environment, including the urging of suppliers to consider the use of renewable energy, adding that many in the sector have followed their lead which has resulted in remarkable changes in the supply link.
The world at large is currently flooded with e-waste, led by the U.S. and China who account for close to a third of the total amount. A report released in April 2015 by the UN indicates that as little as a sixth of worldwide electronic waste is recycled accordingly or availed for reuse.
Apple is no exception as it also does not reveal the number of its products that are submitted for recycling annually.
Under the current plan, the firm extends to its clients storage credit for specific devices they recycle and they recycle the old devices free of charge.