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Apple Announces Green Plans, Greenpeace Wants More

Apple Chief Steve Jobs posted a letter on Apple’s Website announcing its efforts at recycling old products and eliminating toxic substances from new ones, CNET reports. Jobs said that he was “surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors in these areas.”

Jobs made the disclosures due to criticism from environmental groups. Apple ranked dead last in Greenpeace’s latest green list. The report (PDF) of top electronic manufacturers is based on the recycling and toxic content policies of the companies and is intended to pressure them to reduce electronic waste, a technique which, presumably, worked on Apple.

Greenpeace’s pressure is similar to ForestEthics’ campaign against companies that send catalogs – which also worked.

According to the letter, Apple will introduce its first Macs later this year that have displays backlit by light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are free of the toxic substance mercury, CNET writes. In addition, Jobs said that new Macs in 2007 will have glass monitors that are free of arsenic.

The company will also begin taking back unwanted iPods for free recycling at its stores around the world beginning this summer. It previously had accepted iPods for recycling at only its U.S. stores.

“Today we saw something we’ve all been waiting for: the words ‘A Greener Apple’ on the front page of Apple’s site, with a message from Steve Jobs saying ‘Today we’re changing our policy,'” Greenpeace said in a statement.

Still, Greenpeace said this move did not go far enough: “Elsewhere in the world, an Apple product today can still be tomorrow’s e-waste. Other manufacturers offer worldwide takeback and recycling. Apple should too!” 

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