Apple Highlights Use of Recyclable Plastics in New MacBook Air and Mac mini

Apple today shared environmental reports for the new MacBook Air and Mac mini, the first two Macs with 100 percent recycled aluminum enclosures.


The eco-friendly designs of the new MacBook Air and Mac mini extends beyond aluminum. The bottom cover and connector wall in the new Mac mini, for example, are made from 60 percent recycled plastic, while its fan contains 27 percent bio-based plastic made with renewable sources rather than petroleum.

Likewise, the vent and speakers in the new MacBook Air contain 35 percent and 45 percent recycled plastic respectively. The butterfly switches on the new MacBook Air's keyboard also contain 34 percent bio-based plastic, while the solder on the main logic board is made from 100 percent recycled tin.

Apple says the new Mac mini generates 45 percent fewer emissions than the previous-generation model, while the new MacBook Air generates 47 percent fewer emissions than the previous-generation model, each over a four-year lifespan.

Apple also says the new MacBook Air's packaging uses 87 percent less plastic than the previous-generation model's packaging.

Apple's ultimate goal is to use only recycled or renewable materials in its products, and source them responsibly, and it has certainly taken further steps forward with the latest MacBook Air and Mac mini.

Related Roundups: Mac mini, MacBook Air


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6 days ago at 12:35 pm
If Apple truly wanted to make their products environmentally friendly they'd make it far far easier for customers to repair their own devices
Rating: 13 Votes
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6 days ago at 02:12 pm
Aluminium has the highest recycling rate of any metals processed world wide anyway with almost 70% as compared to the next two spots on the list with steel and copper at just above 40%. So it is very likely that my 2012 MacBook Pro consists of a former beer can and a wing part of a 1982 Boing 747. :)
Rating: 3 Votes
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6 days ago at 09:29 am
Also in the upcoming Apple Face-ID Display?


The idea of the Apple Cinema Display has always been resource-friendly. I was able to use the same display for several generations of Mac Minis for a long time. That was honestly optimal use of material resources.

Rating: 3 Votes
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6 days ago at 03:46 pm
Cool. Then why do the prices suggest they’re mining the aluminium from the moon?
Rating: 3 Votes
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6 days ago at 10:03 am
What's kinda funny (that was mentioned in the keynote) is that the Mac mini is made from the shavings of the iPad Pro.
Rating: 2 Votes
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6 days ago at 01:14 pm
The plastic in this model of Mac can be recycled later. That's cute.

Meanwhile the world is now using a million water bottles a minute ('https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/07/26/million-plastic-bottles-minute-91-not-recycled/#443e6b74292c').
Rating: 2 Votes
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6 days ago at 05:59 pm

Cool. Then why do the prices suggest they’re mining the aluminium from the moon?


Because recycling is and always has been more expensive than using raw materials.

Everything in this world boils down to money. If recyling were the cheapest option, we wouldn’t have such issues with waste.
Rating: 1 Votes
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6 days ago at 09:05 am
What I would like to see is all the iMac rear housings that are currently scrapped being recycled. Thats a LOT of high spec ALU that gets thrown away!
Rating: 1 Votes
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6 days ago at 09:02 am
This is great. Glad they’re being so much less wasteful as a company. And now that phones and tablets last at least as long as laptops, consumers can stop being so wasteful too.
Rating: 1 Votes
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5 days ago at 01:11 am

Because recycling is and always has been more expensive than using raw materials.

Everything in this world boils down to money. If recyling were the cheapest option, we wouldn’t have such issues with waste.


Depends on the material. Aluminium is king. Processing recycled aluminum needs 95% less energy than what is needed to process the raw materials. Copper needs 85% less. Glass needs 70% less. Even recycled steel needs 35% less energy.

The problem is the logistics and education. People don't know the benefits of recycling thinking it does not save any energy or materials. It is hard in some parts of the world to recycle because there is no economic way to collect and bring the waste to a recycling facility.
Rating: 1 Votes
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