Two years ago, our consumer electronics reviews added a new criteria to be judged – how sustainable the latest device, laptop or tablet is. So have the tech giants made any progress? In some way, yes. But there is a long way to go.
More mainstream products now contain recycled material as major tech firms follow through with their sustainability pledges. For example, Apple’s full iPad line and the majority of its computers are now made of recycled aluminium, as are Google’s latest Pixel 6 smartphones. Most of Amazon’s own-brand devices contain recycled plastic, including the Fire HD 10 tablets and Echo devices, as do Microsoft’s Ocean Plastic Mouse and Logitech’s MX Keys Mini keyboard.
Most major technology firms offer device recycling, too, even if it is through third-parties and often only when you buy something new. Much more is needed if we are to reach a circular economy, including better recycling.
Much of the progress has been brought about by a combination of consumer awareness and investor pressure. Real change can happen in a consumer industry if people vote with their wallets.
Access to information on what goes into making a device, the length of software support and the repair options, is still limited but getting better for some things. Some of the biggest companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Google, publish environmental impact assessments, but not for all products and often with limited scope.
Apple still leads the pack…