Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Is Apple Out of the Hot Seat?

With the status of Apple as the most recognizable and singularly popular gadget manufacturer, the company may seem untouchable in its position. However, it has also been the subject of a number of issues, from debates regarding its seemingly unfair labor practices in China to the environmental soundness of its products. An investigative report last year ‘exposed’ the conditions of Chinese workers involved in producing the iPad, shocking people in the Western world of the unbearable labor conditions these workers had to endure to manufacture something that they themselves cannot afford to buy in their lifetime. On the other hand, environmental watchdogs like Greenpeace have been on Apple’s case for including dangerous chemicals in their ubiquitous products. Although Apple’s status still seems to be unstoppable, there are some fans who may have left the Apple bandwagon, decided to sell iPads, and switch to more socially responsible brands.

Despite the fact that Apple has already implemented their program for removing dangerous chemicals in their products, Greenpeace pointed out that their efforts might just not be enough to eliminate every possible deleterious substance found in the phone. Therefore, their goal has not been met and they still have to improve on it.

Because of this, Apple has now been on a rampage to eradicate all of these damaging and radioactive chemicals that may have certain affects on users. For example, the high levels of polyvinyl chloride found in the headphone cables can cause serious adverse effects on the sexual development of men.

Not to mention what it can do to animals if these things are disposed of improperly in landfills. The toxicity of these materials may cause more than the unspeakable. Another example would be the effects of bromine if it reaches the waste stream improperly. This fire retardant will definitely become a toxic pollutant that may deteriorate and contaminate land and water.

To prevent this, Apple has become more fervent in making the necessary changes to their inventory and process list. Now, they have launched more serious campaigns to recycle their own waste products and the products bought by their customers. Recycling, wiping out harmful chemicals in their products and implementing buyback programs to sell old iPads have been their answer to safer and greener gadgets for their users.

They also have regular reports on their carbon footprint and they recurrently check their counters to update the public about their green efforts. They have also stated that their gadgets are now manufactured with high quality recyclable materials that most recycling and refurbishing companies are very much interested in.

If you are an iPad user, and for some reasons you want to dispose of your gadget, do not just throw it away and defeat the purpose of recycling. Instead, you can sell broken iPads or those that are already considered ‘obsolete’ to refurbishing companies to have your item recycled for a better and greener resolution. Although the unfair labor practices issue has been swept under the rug, Apple has placed the spotlight on its environmental conservation efforts.


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