Apple shares goal of “closed-loop” manufacturing that does not rely on the mining industry


Apple Inc. is trying to change the way electronics are recycled with a robot that disassembles its iPhone so that minerals can be recovered and reused, while acknowledging rising global demand for electronics means new mines will still be needed.

Daisy, Apple’s recycling robot, is not news. But this is an interesting slant:

The Cupertino, California-based company says the robot is part of its plan to become a “closed-loop” manufacturer that does not rely on the mining industry, an aggressive goal that some industry analysts have said is impossible.


“There’s this ego that believes they can get all their minerals back, and it’s not possible,” said Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, a firm advocating for electronics repair, rather than replacement.

Ego or not, I applaud this effort. The more rare earths that can be reclaimed, reused, the less we have to pull out of the ground. And the less dependent we are on specific regions where rare earths can be found.