In an about face, retiring Apple hardware Vice President Bob Mansfield admitted Apple’s exit from EPEAT was a mistake and that company had relisted its products. Now, not only have previously EPEAT certified Macs been reinstated, but the new Retina MacBook Pro has also been listed as EPEAT Gold Certified. Perhaps not for long, though.
More than a few people will be surprised to learn that the Retina MacBook Pro, with its difficult to remove batteries and display components, is now listed as EPEAT Gold Certified.
That said, Fortune tracked down the Electronics TakeBack Coalition’s Barbara Kyle who thinks that the purportedly hard to open, repair and recycle Retina MacBook Pro’s stay on the EPEAT Gold Certification could be short.
“We seriously doubt that these Mac Books should qualify for EPEAT at any level,” said Barbara Kyle, “because we think they flunk two required criteria in the ‘Design for End of Life’ section of the standard.”
She specifically cites rules governing product disassembly (i.e. use of commonly available tools) and the labeling of components containing toxic materials.
Kyle explains that the Retina MacBook Pro is listed as EPEAT Gold Certified because that’s how Apple submitted it. However, EPEAT will perform their own independent review of the product and could insist that Apple remove the Retina MacBook Pro from the Gold Certified list.
Tempest in a teapot
The rub for all the rule loving greenies is that they don’t believe a heat gun (i.e. blow drier) is a commonly available tool. For anyone that has repaired an iPod, iPhone or iPad, a blow drier is a standard piece of equipment.
Furthermore, a minimally skilled person (i.e. me) can fully disassemble an iPhone [sic], using a heat gun and other common tools, in just a few minutes.
The entire kerfuffle about the Retina MacBook Pro, EPEAT and recyclability is way, way overblown…
What’s your take?