How Green Is the iPhone?

Given that Apple has sold more than 100 million iPhones (and, with a market that's hungry for more and more tiny pocket computers, the giant shows no signs of slowing down), the folks at Geekaphone decided to conduct a study to see how green the phone is. Some of the most striking details from this infographic assembled by Geekaphone, a team in Canada that's "interested in all the little details, from industry happenings to new ... entrants into the market:"

  • 300,000 workers in China earn less than $10 a day assembling iPhones.
  • iPhones purchased in 2010 contributed to 2350 million kg of CO2 being released into the atmosphere: 57% production, 34% consumer use, 8% transportation, 1% recycling.
  • If all the iPhones sold in 2010 were charged once it would be equal to leaving a normal light bulb on for over 357 years.
  • Less than 10% of phones are recycled (42,300,000 trashed, 4,700,000 recycled) even though Apple offers free and environmentally sensitive recycling of its phones.
  • 130 million cellphones enter landfills each year; discarded cellphones account for 65k tons of toxic waste each year, which is equal to three small oil tankers.
  • The iPhone emits 1.19 w/kg SAR radiation: just under 2 1/2 times lower than the level causing behavioral changes in animals.
  • 49 workers at Lianjian technology in Taiwan were poisoned assembling the iPhones' touchscreens.

How-GREEN-is-iPhone-750px1.jpg


Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In