Apple refuses to answer MP’s questions on the sustainability of its products.
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to join the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) inquiry into Electronic Waste and the Circular Economy inquiry.
However, the company then cancelled its appearance at short notice.
Chairman of the committee, Philip Dunne, subsequently wrote to Tim Cook, chief executive at Apple, to highlight the impact of e-waste, the fastest growing waste stream in the world.
With Apple being one of the largest manufacturers of electronic items, its evidence is crucial for the EAC’s inquiry.
During evidence hearings, the committee heard that it can often be too expensive or even impossible for Apple products to be repaired.
The Committee has also heard that Apple prevents third parties from repairing its devices and restricts access to parts creating a monopoly on product repair.
The environmental Audit committee chairman, Philip Dunne, said: ‘Apple has made more than two billion iPhones – a phone for every person in the whole of Africa and Europe. Today, as Apple unveils its next generation of gadgets, my Committee continues to wait for answers on what the company is doing to tackle its environmental footprint.
‘With the speed at which new devices are brought to market, tech companies drive consumers to buy new products rather than prolonging the life of their existing items.
‘It can also be very difficult to repair electronic devices, with many companies making it almost impossible – or if possible, very expensive – for consumers to have the ability to fix themselves.
‘As a result, we’re seeing a throwaway society for electronics, and tech companies must take responsibility for the environmental impact that this causes. A circular economy with repair and recycling at its heart is crucial if we are to tackle the climate emergency.
‘Apple appears to have a positive story to tell regarding its efforts on climate change. But its unwillingness to answer my Committee’s questions has led us to believe its environmental obligations is not taken seriously enough.’
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