Think Trading In Your iPhone Helps Keep Planet Green? Turns Out There Are Plenty Of Dirty Secrets, Report Reveals

A major recycling partner of Apple Inc. AAPL has been accused of stealing and reselling nearly 100,000 Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Watches. This was a part of Apple's eco-friendly mission.

What Happened: The recycling partner, GEEP Canada Inc., was sued by Apple in 2020 for $22.6 million for breach of contract, reported Bloomberg on Thursday. The lawsuit alleges that GEEP employees stole and diverted Apple products to third parties who fixed and resold them in the grey market.

Apple shipped GEEP more than 530,000 iPhones, 25,000 iPads, and 19,000 Watches in the first two years of working with the company.

The lawsuit brought to light a series of alarming issues, including missing tons of gadgets, data discrepancies in GEEP's paperwork, and the discovery of two bins of intact Watches, which is contractually forbidden.

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Despite the lawsuit, the case has remained unresolved for four years. No new motions have been filed, and without further actions, GEEP and Apple's lawsuits could be automatically dismissed as soon as August and January, respectively.

An Apple spokesperson said that the company’s electronics recycling has advanced significantly since the lawsuit was filed and that they pioneer innovative new ways to recover valuable materials inside devices.

Apple did not immediately respond to Benzinga's request for comment

See Also: Apple Bows To China’s Security Concerns: Pulls 2 Meta Products From App Store

Why It Matters: Apple has touted its green initiatives and reaffirmed its dedication to achieving net carbon neutrality by 2030. The company has been making significant efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly practices.

In 2021, Apple allocated about $2.8 billion raised from its previous issuances of Green Bonds into projects addressing carbon emissions, supporting low-carbon design and engineering, energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon mitigation, and carbon sequestration.

In 2023, Apple announced a $200 million investment in its “Restore Fund,” doubling its commitment to pushing forward high-quality, nature-based carbon removal projects.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has also disclosed that the tech giant has been leveraging artificial intelligence to achieve its carbon neutrality goals. Cook spoke about the pivotal role of AI in Apple's recycling processes, essential for the company's sustainability efforts.

Despite these efforts, the recent allegations against GEEP raise questions about Apple’s recycling program and its commitment to environmental sustainability.

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Read Next: China-Linked Espionage Campaign Targeting Apple’s iPhones: BlackBerry Raises Alarm With New Report

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo courtesy: Apple

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