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Apple gave away over 1 lakh iPhones and Watches for recycling, its partner resold them

Apple is committed to environmental conservation which is why the tech giant partnered with a recycling firm that rather stole and resold the products.

Pavni Jain | October 5, 2020 | Updated 20:43 IST

Highlights

  • Apple partnered with GEEP Canada to scrape off over half a million units of iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.
  • Later, Apple filed a lawsuit against the recycling partner over stealing and reselling 1,00,000 of those units.
  • GEEP Canada, in a countersuit, said that the three employees carried out the theft without the company’s knowledge.

Apple partnered with GEEP Canada to scrape off over half a million units of iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. But the tech giant Apple later sued the recycling firm over stealing more than 1,00,000 of those units and reselling them.

In the lawsuit filed by Apple in January 2020, the company claims that GEEP Canada had stolen around 1,03,845 products which was also admitted by the recycling firm. Apple in the lawsuit stated, "At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP's premises without being destroyed a fact that GEEP itself confirmed."

The GEEP Canada filed a countersuit in July 2020 saying that the three employees carried out the theft without the company's knowledge. On this, Apple had reportedly countered saying that those three employees hold senior-management positions in the Canada-based recycling firm.

According to a report, Apple transported 5,31,966 iPhones, 25,673 iPads and 19,277 Apple Watches to GEEP Canada between January 2015 to December 2017. During the audit of the GEEP warehouse, Apple found that some of the units were not reviewed. The tech giant then checked the serial numbers of all the units it had shipped to the recycling firm. It showed that the 18 per cent or 1,03,845 units of all the devices were discovered to be active on carrier networks.

Apple in a statement to The Verge said, "Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers and if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defect."

Now, GEEP Canada is apparently looking for those 'three employees' who are responsible for the theft so that they can pay for the damages suffered by Apple. If the tech giant wins, GEEP Canada will have to pay approximately $22.7 million to the company.

At various Apple product launches, the company has always said that it is committed to environmental conservation. Apple says, "We're committed to one day sourcing 100% recycled and renewable materials across all of our products and packaging. Because making doesn't have to mean taking from the planet." Even for iPhone 11, the company had said, "For iPhone 11, we use 35 percent or more recycled plastic in multiple components." And the same is expected for its upcoming iPhone 12 series phones.

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