Eco-Friendly iPhones? Apple Pledges to Recycle All Cobalt Batteries by 2025!

lithium-ion battery

What sort of user you are—do you use your phone as an extension of your arm or just as a piece of required consumer electronics? If you belong to the first group, then you should know that the lithium-ion battery in your smartphone causes significant pollution. Other products, such as electric cars, computers, and so on use the same material. So everything is getting worse and worse. That’s why many tech industry leaders are striving to guarantee the recycling of batteries, and a few of these endeavors are beginning to gain momentum. Apple announced last week that all the cobalt used in its batteries will be recycled by 2025.


Besides cobalt, Apple uses a wide range of materials to make phones and computers. The company said that by 2025 it would use recycled tin solder and gold plating for its circuit boards and recycled materials for its magnets. It’s not by chance that they use cobalt as the main material.

Apple iPhone lithium-ion batteries

This metal has become a crucial component of lithium-ion batteries. Mining companies extract most of it in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where many have linked it to human rights abuses, including forced labor.

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Apple will recycle lithium-ion batteries

By 2022, Apple will have increased the amount of recycled cobalt in its batteries to around 25%, up from 13% the previous year. Plus, all cobalt used in “Apple-designed batteries” will come from recycled sources within a few years.

Apple will be able to meet its recycled cobalt commitment due to a number of factors.

  • Many years ago, we started using lithium-ion batteries to power portable electronics.
  • Second, the economics of using recycled materials in cars and personal electronics are a little different. An electric car battery can cost up to 40% of the price of the car because of its size. That’s not the case with products like phones, so a company like Apple will be able to pay a bit more for recycled battery components without affecting the cost of the overall product.
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Does this mean that the iPhone in 2025 (aka the iPhone 17) will be made from cobalt recovered from waste? Because EV batteries are larger, and there are fewer used ones available for reuse, vehicles may take a little longer. But we’re getting closer to a day when we can recycle more of the components of the tech we use and love.

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