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Apple and Alchemy A Winning Combination for E-Waste?

  • Apple has tasked a third-party company, Alchemy, with the full cycle of a device trade-in.
  • Alchemy handles the recovery, repair, and resale of iPhones and MacBooks.
  • The company is making an effort to reduce global e-waste, which was at 50 million tonnes in 2022.
  • The company has 60 warehouses around the world and is audited by Apple every six months.

E-waste is a major issue across the globe, and Apple is aiming to mitigate some of that impact by relying on third-party companies, such as Alchemy. Alchemy is an Ireland-based “circular tech company” that handles the full cycle of a device trade-in, from recovery and repair to resale. The company has 60 warehouses around the world and is audited by Apple every six months to ensure that all sensitive data is removed from the traded-in devices.

Alchemy is making an effort to reduce global e-waste, which was at 50 million tonnes in 2022. This is achieved by selling the refurbished devices in marketplaces such as Loop Mobile and Callisto, available through retailers like Amazon and Walmart. Apple products tend to retain their value well, and Alchemy sells upwards of 15,000 iPhone 8 models each day.

Despite Apple not making a direct profit from secondhand market sales, the circular tech industry does help the company. This is because secondhand devices help boost Apple’s market share, and in turn boost the company’s other revenue streams, including the Services division.

Apple will continue to utilize third-party companies like Alchemy in the future, while still trying to reduce its own environmental impact. The company is planning to move to 100% recycled cobalt in its iPhone batteries by 2025.

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