Finally, the veil has been lifted, and the mystery solved, for the relief of Apple's packaging suppliers who had to keep a secret for a decade. Apple prides itself in the fact that it wraps its iPads and iPhones for shipment in tight-footprint boxes made of sustainably produced cardboard, and pays attention to every little detail that goes into the content itself. With the iPhone 7
, for instance, Changes to the tray and EarPods carrier contributed to an 84 percent decrease in plastic usage for iPhone 7 packaging compared to iPhone 6s
. For the iPhone 8
, Apple went even further down the rabbit hole of sustainability, as its own reports show:
For iPhone 8, this meant pursuing an alternative to a polypropylene wrap that protected the power adapter. Finding a fiber alternative proved challenging since fiber naturally expands and contracts with changes in humidity. The significant number of suppliers and locations through which the power adapter wrap would pass made controlling the humidity of the environment impossible. This required Apple to take a very hands-on approach, working directly with the supplier to alter aspects of the manufacturing process to create a fiber wrap that would meet technical needs. While the power adapter wrap is a small piece of the iPhone packaging, it represents a significant amount of material given the number of iPhone units sold.
Yesterday, Apple's CEO Tim Cook, who is on an European trip, visiting suppliers, stores, developers, and Irish data center wannabes
, tweeted the following cryptic picture from Sweden you see below. It turns out that he has personally picked the sustainably-produced cardboard by Iggesund Paperboard as shipment wrappings for the iPads, choosing the Swedes over a number of other offerings. It turns out that the forests in northern Sweden are producing the raw material for the cardboard, and they get replanted each time, as you can see in the video above, which also takes care of the legal requirements in Sweden when sourcing forest material. Svelte.