Environmentalists target Apple iPod as ‘electronic waste’

“Environmentalists are targeting the iPod, Apple Computer’s phenomenally successful digital music player, as a symbol of the growing problem of electronic waste. The Computer Take Back Campaign, an umbrella organization for dozens of environmental groups, is trying to force Apple to beef up its recycling program and to redesign the iPod, which has a battery that can wear out in just 18 months and is not easily replaced,” Joan Lowy reports for Scripps Howard News Service.

“Last month, protesters gathered outside the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters carrying signs that read ‘from iPod to iWaste – toxic trash in your pocket;’ ‘take back your rotten Apples;’ and ‘Dell and HP do, why don’t you?’ Protesters also turned up at the company’s recent Macworld Expo in San Francisco. They have generated thousands of letters to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. And they are vowing to bring their complaints to shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in April,” Lowy reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We have iPods with much longer than 18 months use on them that have original batteries that are still going strong. Apple has a battery information page here which explains: Apple rechargeable batteries provide a better solution for both your pocketbook and the planet. For instance, if your iPod were powered by 4-AA Alkaline batteries and you used one pack per week (which is conservative), after two years you would have spent over $200 (buying in bulk) and piled up 400 dead batteries for your local recycling center.


  1. oh Pleez….

    While I think environmental waste is a snowballing issue, I hardly think spending time protesting apple (3% of market in computers, remember?) is an honest effort by this group. They are merely riding on the phenomenal success of the iPod to deliver their message.

    They should focus on something more relevant like PCB’s and Nuclear waste.

    brought to you by “Total”, as in almost a total waste of their time.

  2. I think there is always room for improvement. Perhaps Apple can take a look at environmental concerns. I think the fact they’ve improved battery life is a sign they are working on these concerns.

    I think moving to digital distribution of music helps the environment. We are not creating all these plastic CDs with jewel cases and then shrink wrap. Add to that the waste to produce all those items and the toll on the environment to ship all those CDs – polution from trucks to more packaging to box them all.

  3. Considering 36% of the world’s Carbon Dioxide emissions come from the United States, with only 5% of the world’s population, I would have thought these groups had bigger problems than iPods to worry about.

    After all, on those super scorching hot days of 2015, when the smog and extreme heat battle it out for who kills the most in an hour, you may as well have a choice of tunes to listen to, eh!

  4. I have an original 5gig iPod with an original battery that is still working well. So this electronic waste thing is just trying to target a popular product and make Apple look bad. iPods last longer than 18 months unless your driving your car over them or something.

  5. Although I do share the environmentalist concerns, I believe that they are only targeting Apple because Apple happens to have the hot commodity right now. The success of the iPod gives them a larger audience. When someone wants to picket, they want the largest audience possible. That’s why they aren’t going after Dell’s Jukebox or one of the hundred other iPod knockoffs.

    My magic word: works. As in, “Gee, my iPod works so much better than that crappy Dell Junkbox.”

  6. I would guess that close to 70% of the iPod’s components are made from recyclable materials.
    Are these the same “Environmentalists” that say we should be using electric cars and not burning through fossil fuels?

  7. This whole article is old news. Especially about the guys iPod. You can now get an iPod better than original replacement battery for $39 including a kit to help you take it apart and instructions on how to do so. Since the iPod is using a rechargable battery they should go pick on the makers of MP3 players who use standard AA or AAA batteries. They cause more hazardous waste then the Apple iPod.

  8. Computer waste is a real problem. Electronics contain heavy metals and toxic stuff. Some computer companies like Dell have recycling programs where you can bring your old PCs and they dispose of it properly (I hope). I wish Apple had something similar. BTW, calling environmentalists whiners shows you are really unaware of environmental problems. Just learn a little about it and you’ll have more respect.

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