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iPhone Packaging

New Apple Whitepaper Describes Process Behind Environmentally Friendly iPhone Packaging

Packaging for the iPhone 7.
Apple's Competitors
October 10, 2017

You may not spend a lot of time thinking about iPhone packaging, but an interesting new whitepaper details the huge amount of effort and detail Apple puts into making the materials as environmentally friendly as possible.

A look at the change from iPhone 6s to iPhone 7 packaging composition and weight.

A look at the change from iPhone 6s to iPhone 7 packaging composition and weight.

Credit: Apple Packaging and Forestry Report

Entitled “Apple’s Paper and Packaging Strategy,” the detailed, 11-page paper describes how Apple is hoping to help conserve resources.

Our three-part strategy to mitigate Apple’s impact on current and future forest resources through the use of packaging is to:

• Use paper more efficiently and use recycled paper where possible.
• Source virgin paper responsibly.
• Protect and create sustainable working forests.

With hundreds of millions of iPhones sold yearly, Apple consistently is looking to lessen the environmental impact of its iPhone packaging starting with the program creation in 2015.

And Apple even made changes to improving the iPhone 8 packaging:

Continued pursuit of improvements for iPhone 8 packaging shows Apple’s attention to detail and ongoing commitment to making smaller and often more difficult changes. For iPhone 8, this meant pursuing an alternative to a polypropylene wrap that protected the power adapter. Finding a fiber alternative proved challenging since fiber naturally expands and contracts with changes in humidity. The significant number of suppliers and locations through which the power adapter wrap would pass made controlling the humidity of the environment impossible. This required Apple to take a very hands-on approach, working directly with the supplier to alter aspects of the manufacturing process to create a fiber wrap that would meet technical needs. While the power adapter wrap is a small piece of the iPhone packaging, it represents a significant amount of material given the number of iPhone units sold. This detail is one of many that make packaging more uniform, reduce environmental impact, and create a better experience for the customer.

The paper also discusses the Apple initiative in both the United States and China.