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Apple opts out of EPA-backed "Green" registry

11 Jul 2012
MacBook Air Thunderbolt and USB port

Apple has decided to remove itself from the "green" EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) registry in a move which has drawn complaints from the likes of Greenpeace.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple has asked for its products to be removed from the EPEAT registry. EPEAT is a non-profit tool that highlights environmentally safe products for consumers. The EPEAT is backed by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The opt-out has attracted ire from the likes of environmental groups like Greenpeace.

"Apple is pulling out of EPEAT so it can make some products in a way that's less recyclable. In doing so, Apple is pitting design against the environment, and choosing design as the priority," a Greenpeace spokesperson told V3.

"That's a false choice, and Apple should know better: historically Apple has been a leader in designing products with the environment in mind."

Apple, who had 39 products in the EPEAT registry, has reportedly said they are headed in a new direction with their product designs. Knowing that its new product designs were incompatible with EPEAT recycling guidelines Apple decided to make the change.

Teardown reports of Apple's latest products have shown that hardware such as battery packs and storage drives have been glued into the device casing or otherwise made impossible to remove without the use of proprietary tools.

Apple had previously been known for its forward-thinking when it comes to recycling. The company still offers customers the chance to drop off old products at Apple store locations for recycling.

"Customers who have expressed their concerns to Apple in recent months about the energy it's using to power its iCloud will be disconcerted to hear that Apple is now backsliding on making its products recyclable," continued Greenpeace.

"Apple can resume its position of leadership on the environment, but right now it seems to be incorrectly betting that people don't care."

Apple's decision has also garnered the ire of governmental officials. The city of San Francisco reportedly decided to drop any plans to purchase Apple devices following the company's opt out

This will mean some 50 departments with around 28,000 employees will no longer be able to use city funds to buy Apple desktops, laptops or monitors.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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