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Apple hypes environmental friendliness of new Mac mini & MacBook Air

Apple has quietly released "Product Environmental Reports" for its two new Macs, championing their energy efficiency and the use of recyclable materials.

The 2018 Mac mini uses 60 percent recycled plastic in the foot cover and connector wall, and 27 percent "bio-based" plastic in its fan, according to one fact sheet. The lifetime carbon footprint is said to be 226 kilograms, or about 498 pounds, 45 percent lower than the 2014 model.

The new MacBook Air reportedly uses 100 percent recycled aluminum for its enclosure, and 100 percent recycled tin in the logic board solder. 35 percent "or more" of the plastic in the speakers and vent is recycled.

Apple claims that the entry-level version of the laptop has a carboon footprint of roughly 176 kilograms, a little over 385 pounds.

Some other details mentioned include packaging improvements. In both cases, all of the wood fiber in used is said to to come from "recycled and responsible" sources, the actual recycled amount being 37 percent. 96 percent of the Mini's box is fiber-based.

With the Air, Apple touts that it uses 87 percent less plastic in its 2018 packaging than it did last year, and that the amount of recycled content in its fiber is 46 percent.

In April last year Apple revealed plans to eventually build its products using entirely recycled materials. Even at the time, though, the company admitted it wasn't sure how it would obtain that goal.