Apple Greens the Nano / by Jason

This news is now a couple of days old, but it's worth repeating. In response to a ton of heckling from the outside world and an organized campaign by Greenpeace, Apple has started to make good on a promise to detoxify its products. With Al Gore on the board of Apple, this has been something of an embarrassment for the company for quite a while. The new fourth-generation Nano finally makes a break from some of the nasty metals and chemicals that make our beloved little gadgets into little environmental gremlins. Eco Tech Daily has some good coverage:

Specifically targeted: reducing lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and PVCs in
computers and home entertainment components. Apple has also been giving some
thought to its packaging, opting for biodegradable materials and reducing
unnecessary bulk wherever possible. This summer’s 3G iPhones shipped in
Styrofoam-free trays made from potato starch.

Arsenic-free display glass
Construction free of Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs)
No use of mercury
No use of PVCs
Highly recyclable metal casing

I'm not sure what "highly recyclable" means, but it's clear that Apple is at long last starting to take this important issue seriously--all those toxic chemicals are bad for the planet, bad for the manufacturing crews, and might just be bad for the end users. The company has promised to make similar changes to its entire product line by 2010, so look for more announcements like this in the next few Apple product launch extravaganzas.

For more on the topic, see this ABC News story and the official tech specs from Apple.