How to recycle Apple AirPods


Among a host of announcements regarding a new credit card, a subscription service and something to do with Oprah, Apple has finally launched the second coming of the AirPods.

In terms of design, the AirPod 2s are the same as the usual air buds we all know and love – but when you look under the hood, the new AirPods are an essential upgrade: they have a longer life of battery and couple even faster devices. But if you upgrade to a better version of our AirPods, what should you do with your old pair?

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In fact, recycling the AirPods is a nightmare. As a general rule, you can not throw them in a recycling bin because you have to remove the lithium battery (its only recyclable part) from the rest of the AirPod, which is almost impossible. Normally, a pair of earphones could be melted in a facility specializing in electronic waste. In the case of AirPods, the non-removable battery is a fire hazard if it is melted or shredded.

Discarding lithium batteries is also a huge waste of resources, as Atlantic has pointed out this week. Lithium batteries contain cobalt, a limited resource often exploited under difficult conditions.

And while it is easy to think that it is a very small pollutant, we generate some 20 million tons of electronic waste each year (3.4 million tons are generated by the Americans), 60% of which is generated by the Americans. find themselves in our dumps. Some 900,000 pairs were sold in the first seven months of the original AirPod release in the United States alone, which has probably increased dramatically ever since, which means millions of us will definitely throw away our AirPods in the future.

So what should do you do once your original AirPods have finally reached their end? Well, it seems that the only way to guarantee the recycling of your AirPods is to send them back to Apple by mail.

The process is fairly simple and part of their current recovery program. First, go to the Apple Exchange Website, select "Other Devices", then "Headsets and Speakers", enter your address and you will receive a free prepaid shipping label for your old AirPods. And if you wonder – no, you will not get a discount on your next pair, unfortunately. But at least the process is free and relatively painless and you are also helping to reduce the problem of e-waste.

During a phone conversation, an Apple spokesperson confirmed that these AirPods were then distributed to recyclers specializing in electronic waste, along with instructions on the procedure for separating components. Which raises another important question: why not share this information with other facilities (or just on the AirPod box) if it's that simple? We may never know the answer, but for now, sending them back to Apple is your best and only way to make sure your old AirPods will not help destroy the environment.

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