Environmental activist organization Greenpeace has launched a new campaign to sway Apple, Samsung, LG, Microsoft, and other tech companies to make cell phones and tablets easier to repair, helping both consumers and the environment.
The “Rethink-IT” campaign invites visitors to sign a petition to persuade Apple, Samsung and LG, among other tech companies, to offer more repairable and durable products, reads a new report from CNET. Greenpeace has created a rating, along with teardown website iFixit, which details how easy it is to repair a product from one of these brands, none of which score favorably.
“Electronics take a massive amount of energy, human effort, and natural resources to make,” said iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens. “And yet, manufacturers produce billions more of them every year — while consumers keep them for just a few years before tossing them away. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. We should be able to make electronics a more sustainable part of our lives.”
Both of Apple’s iPhone 7 handsets tested scored 7 out of 10, but two iPads scored 2 out of 10 and two MacBooks scored 1 out of 10. Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro 5 both scored 1 out of 10, while Samsung saw three smartphones and one tablet all score 4 out of 10 or lower. Dell fared better, with one laptop getting a perfect 10 out of 10 and one scoring seven out of 10. HP saw its tablets score 10 out of 10 and seven out of 10, while the one HP laptop tested scored 10 out of 10.
Greenpeace is calling on the IT sector to design products that can be more easily repaired or upgraded and offer adequate post-sale support. This could be done by making repairing accessible and affordable, making spare parts, particularly batteries, displays and other components with high failure rates, available to customers for at least seven years and by promoting standards and laws that encourage product repair.
Apple has stressed it continues to lead by example in its environmental initiatives, such as Liam, its robot which disassembles iPhones into parts which can be reused or recycled.