It appears Apple is delivering on its promise to create a more eco-friendly smartphone, as the iPhone 5 is ranked among the top 5 least toxic phones on the market. It still has traces of lead, mercury, and chlorine in it, but compared to previous models there are some pretty big improvements.
The iPhone 2G received the worst overall score of all phones on the ranking list, and received a lot of criticism for that at the time, but Apple’s changes over the last five years have put it among the top 10% cleanest phones. The iPhone 5 ranked fifth best, while the Samsung Galaxy S3 was ninth. The Motorola Citrus made it to the top of the list, likely due in part to its small design.
It’s great that manufacturers are reducing the amount of toxic materials used to make advanced phones, but with only 8% of cell phones in the U.S. making it to recycling centers, there is still a pretty big e-waste problem, with toxins eventually leaching into soil and waterways through landfills.
Aside from the decrease in toxic materials, the iPhone 5 is also one of the most energy efficient cell phone models. According to a report from OPower, it only costs 41 cents to charge an iPhone 5 for the entire year. That’s unheard of in comparison to the cost of running desktops, laptops, and TVs.
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