Apple Inc. introduced all-new MacBook Air and Mac mini computers, both of which are manufactured with enclosures made from 100% recycled aluminum for the first time.
“Every Mac enclosure is made from aluminum,” explained stated Laura Grove, vice president of hardware engineering at Apple during the company October 2018 event. “We use aluminum because it has incredible strength, durability, and sheer beauty. But to achieve that, we’ve had to rely on the mining of high purity ore.” With the use of primary aluminum providing an inherently high carbon footprint.
Apple’s metallurgy team has developed a new aluminum alloy that is able to use production shavings (partly acquired as excess material from the production of other devices like iPad Pro), while providing the same quality and characteristics. “This is a huge breakthrough,” said Grove. The use of recycled aluminum in the enclosures has resulted in both the MacBook Air and Mac mini achieving a carbon footprint reduction of nearly 50% (based on Product Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Assessment).
Improving the environmental friendliness of its product through the use of renewable resources or recycled material has long been one of the company’s goals. In order to further this, the company participates in responsible recycling programs in 99% of the countries where their products are sold.
In addition to using recycled aluminum, theMacBook Air uses 100% recycled tin in the logic board and 35% post-consumer recycled plastic in its internal components, such as the speakers. The Mac mini also uses 60% post-consumer recycled plastic.