Google Pledges To Use Recycled Materials In All Hardware By 2022
Startling reports on the growing effects of climate change have raised alarm bells around the world. Thanks to efforts by environmental advocates, numerous companies have pledged to lessen the negative impacts their products or services have on the environment. Recently, Google joined these efforts with an exciting announcement.
A few days ago, the company announced at all of its Made by Google products will use recycled materials by 2022. This proposal is set to include Pixel phones, select Chromebooks, and Google Home speakers, to name a few of the major product lines impacted by this change.
Big Tech Companies Are Going Green
Google has pledged to use recycled materials in all of its products, but it is important to note that no piece of hardware will be entirely build out of recycled materials. Instead, this effort represents a starting point, with Google seeking to utilize recycled materials in its future products as much as possible.
This is an exciting development, but it is important to note that Google isn’t the first tech giant to adopt eco-friendly business practices. Apple has been praised in the past for creating its computer cases out of recycled aluminum and creating innovative robots capable of recycling iPhone devices.
While these developments could be viewed as underwhelming when one considers the environmental impact of today’s technology industry, they represent an essential first step towards sustainability.
E-Waste: Toxic Problems, High-Tech Solutions
Throughout the technology industry, e-waste is a term widely used to describe devices that have been thrown into landfills after becoming outdated — and it’s a huge issue that impacts everyone. Smartphones and tablets have provided us with unrivaled convenience, yet many devices contain trace amounts of toxic materials such as lead, polyvinyl chloride, and mercury.
The small amounts of these materials in devices don’t hurt their users, but they can lead to negative environmental impacts when disposed of incorrectly. On the other hand, when recycled correctly these outdated devices can still be useful, as underlined by Google’s recently announced effort.
Recycling old devices and turning them into the next generation of smartphones and laptops may seem straightforward, but it can be a complex undertaking. Properly disposing of electronics on a large scale presents a tricky problem and will require some high-tech solutions to tackle effectively. Thankfully, large tech companies reiterating their support (and more importantly, dedicating valuable resources) for the development of sustainable technology practices is a promising sign.
The Future Of Sustainable Technology
Moving forward, look for an increased number of technology companies to express their interest in developing better ways to manage, dispose of, and re-purpose e-waste. For example, many tech companies have introduced recycling programs for customers, which allow them to responsibly dispose of their products once they become outdated.
With this being said, big tech companies still have a very long way to go before they can be considered genuinely eco-friendly. Still, with the likes of Google, Apple, and Samsung representing some of today’s corporate giants, any progress towards environmentally-friendly technology is good progress.