Referring to the criticism by many environmental organizations, Jobs said
Apple has been criticized by some environmental organizations for not being a leader in removing toxic chemicals from its new products, and for not aggressively or properly recycling its old products. Upon investigating Apple's current practices and progress towards these goals, I was surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors in these areas. Whatever other improvements we need to make, it is certainly clear that we have failed to communicate the things that we are doing well.
It is generally not Apple's policy to trumpet our plans for the future; we tend to talk about the things we have just accomplished. Unfortunately this policy has left our customers, shareholders, employees and the industry in the dark about Apple's desires and plans to become greener. Our stakeholders deserve and expect more from us, and they're right to do so. They want us to be a leader in this area, just as we are in the other areas of our business. So today we're changing our policy.
Talking about iPod recycling program, Jobs said,
All of Apple's U.S. retail stores, which now number more than 150, take back unwanted iPods for environmentally friendly disposal free of charge. As an incentive, we even offer customers a 10% discount on a new iPod when they bring their old iPod to our stores for proper disposal. This summer we're expanding it to Apple retail stores worldwide, and we're also extending it to include free shipping from anywhere in the U.S. No product purchases are required for any of our free take back programs. In a few months, we think we'll have 'best of breed' iPod recycling programs in the U.S., and we plan to continue to expand our free iPod recycling programs globally in the future.
Also Jobs today officially revealed the company's plans to switch to light-emitting diodes from fluorescent lamps for LCD back lights.
To eliminate mercury in our displays, we need to transition from fluorescent lamps to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the displays.
The usage of LED means, much more greener display with less energy consumption along with longer battery life.
Well, Apple's recycling program and policy towards toxic materials was what always bugged me! Finally I am glad to see this new coming from Apple.
I hope that this news will inspire other electronic companies to shift to greener toxic free products. It's our duty to preserve Mother Earth and removal of toxic material and effective recycling will be our first step toward it.