Google Makes Recycled Materials Pledge For Hardware Products

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Google goes green. Recycled materials to be in all of its ‘Made By Google’ products by 2022

Google has pledged to include recycled materials to be in all of its ‘Made By Google’ products by 2022.

Google made the recycling commitment to sustainable design in an interview with the Fastcompany.

Google of course is mostly known for its non-hardware related products such as its search engine, Gmail and YouTube for example. But it does make some hardware devices such as Pixel phones, Pixelbooks, Google Home speakers, Nest home devices, and other accessories such as phone cases and charging stands.

The Pixel 2 XL. Image credit: Google

Recycle pledge

So what is Google promising here? Well there is no word on what percentage of recycled material will be in future devices, but it is reported that each new product will reuse a third of a plastic bottle.

The company also used the interview to announce that by 2020, all of its product shipments will be carbon neutral.

“Some people think design is about making things look pretty or look good,” Ivy Ross, who heads Google’s hardware design team, was quoted as saying. “And really design is about solving problems for humanity. . . . I said to the team, wait a minute, [sustainability] is just another problem and is probably the most important problem of our lifetime. Won’t we feel great as designers if we are taking that on?”

Google pointed out that it already uses recycled materials in its Chromecast devices.

“You have to really tinker in the lab for a while to make it work,” Ana Corrales, the chief operating officer for Google hardware was quoted as saying. “But rather than engineers being worried about that, because they have a timeline that they need to get a product out, I think it’s something that’s quite motivating to them.”

It should no noted that Google is not alone here.

Apple for example already uses materials like recycled plastic, recycled aluminum, and recycled tin, and has designed a custom robot that can disassemble iPhones to send materials back into its own supply chain.

In April Apple had announced a “major expansion of its recycling programs” and showed to the world its iPhone eating robot called Daisy located at its Material Recovery Lab in Austin, Texas.

Apple said that it has received nearly 1 million devices through Apple programs and each Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million devices per year, or 200 iPhones per hour to recycle material such as cobalt, aluminium and tin.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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