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Google pledges to ‘maximize’ recycled material in own products

Google has vowed to use recycled materials in all products from its main hardware line by 2022. The pledge to sustainability will be enforced across its Made by Google range, which includes the likes of the Pixel smartphone, the Google Home speaker, and Pixelbook laptop. Starting in 2022, 100% of Made by Google products will include recycled materials “with a drive to maximise recycled content wherever possible”, the tech giant said.

By 2020, 100% of all shipments going to or from customers will also be carbon neutral, after the company managed to cut its carbon emissions for product shipments down by 40% from 2017 to 2018. “We’re always working to do more, faster,” said, Anna Meegan head of sustainability for consumer hardware at Google. “But today we’re laying the foundation for what we believe will be a way of doing business that commits to building better products better.”

The firm already allows people to recycle old Google products through a recycling programme, but it’s currently limited to the US. Google’s move follows similar action by Apple, which recently announced an expansion of its own environmental programmes.

Switching to recycled content isn’t always easy, though. As Fast Company reports, when Google’s hardware team began working on a yet-to-be-announced product that will be out later this year, it decided to swap industry-standard polyester fabric for fabric made from recycled bottles. It reportedly took the team two years to make sure the material met design and manufacturing requirements and that vendors could supply it at scale.

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