Apple is seeking $31 million CAD ($22.7 million US) from its former partner. GEEP hasn’t denied the theft, but claims that three employees stoles the devices to benefit themselves, not the company. Apple countered that the employees were in fact GEEP’s senior executives.
Apple does market refurbished devices, but it won’t attempt to sell or allow to be sold any that don’t meet its safety or quality standards. “Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers… and could cause serious safety issues,” the company told The Verge.
Nevertheless, right-to-repair groups have criticized Apple for its policies toward third-party repair shops and devices that are hard to fix. The company is moving some recycling in-house with machines called Dave and Daisy that can strip parts from 200 phones per hour to recover difficult-to-recycle components that might not otherwise be recycled. However, many critics believe that Apple and other electronics manufacturers should be focusing on re-use, not recycling, if we want to reduce the 53 million tonnes of e-waste produced in 2019 alone.