iPhone 12–Environmentally Friendly Yet?

Kenny Doan

A few weeks ago, Apple released new lines of products during their event including—you heard right—the iPhone 12 product line. The Cupertino-based company was proud to announce their environmental initiatives this year to combat climate impact by 2030. They’ve done everything they can, from running on 100% renewable energy on their stores, to reducing single-plastic packaging, to cutting down chargers? Yes—you heard right, on the new iPhone 12 product line, not only they will remove the typical charging bricks you get when you order iPhone 12 products this year, but they will also remove the EarPods (not to be confused with “AirPods”) in the box to reduce “packaging”. 

Every year when you usually order an iPhone, you would expect the typical complimentary headphones and charging brick. However, Apple’s effort to cut down their packaging costs is not what they were hoping for—people weren’t too happy hearing about this news. Since Apple believed this “effective” tactic would work, do note that they also released the MagSafe Charging and a charging brick for USB-C (since the MagSafe Charging would only work with USB-C) that is sold separately as an accessory, packaged with more plastic when you get it in-store. Makes sense, right?

This does not end. If you are ever in France and buying the iPhone 12, hear this out—Apple was in a legal battle with France for Apple to add their EarPods back into the packaging. Unfortunately, the box was already made! So, how else are they going to try to add the EarPods back? According to TheiCollection—a French tech Youtuber—they made another cardboard package (similar in size to the iPhone 12 boxes), specifically just for the EarPods. For French customers, they will have to deal with more packaging issues when ordering the MagSafe accessories, ruining the purpose of being “environmentally friendly.”

It’s a safe bet to say that if you are looking to save the climate, you can try reusing the chargers you have (since they are still lightning cable) or not buy the iPhone 12 at all. If you LOVE buying these iPhones each year with the accessories, try reusing the boxes provided to you and utilize them for your needs! Being responsible and a part of fighting the climate crisis will better shape the future soon.