Apple as usual has filed a legal suit against its former contractor GEEP Canada for allegedly reselling over 100,000 iPhones, iPads and Watches which were supposed to be disassembled and then recycled. The state red that over 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact which GEEP itself confirmed according to The Logic (via The Verge).
This was discovered right after Apple had audited some 500,000 iPhones, Watches and iPads between the year 2015 and 2017 and then it was discovered that some 18% of those devices totaling 103,845 were still accessing the internet through cellular networks and that doesn’t even count Wi-Fi devices which means the number could be higher than reported.
With that, Apple is seeking US$22.7 million (CA$31 million) from GEEP Canada even though the former Apple’s partner never denied the theft but claimed that three of its employees stole the devices for their own gain and not the company but the employees in question were in fact GEEP’s senior executives.
Apple on one end do market refurbished products but it will not attempt to sell or allow them to be sold unless it meets its safety or quality standards. “Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers… and could cause serious safety issues,” the company told The Verge.
Meanwhile right-to-repair groups have criticized Apple for its policies toward third-party repair shops and devices which are hard to fix. With that, the company is moving some recycling in-house with machines they called Dave and Daisy which is able to strip parts from about 200 phones every hour in order to recover difficult-to-recycle components which might not be recycled.
However, many critics believe that Apple and other electronics manufacturers should be focusing on re-use, not recycling, if we want to reduce the 53 million tonnes of e-waste produced in 2019 alone.