Why Airpods are an Environmental Failure

Thomas Coder, Staff Writer

Apple’s “Airpods” are everywhere. I personally have never seen a single headphone worn so commonly. Their vast popularity can be attributed to many things such as their sleek design, seemingly maximized convenience, Bluetooth efficiency and pairing, etc. A rather harsh truth about one of Apple’s most successful ever products are their environmental impact, one which they have been criticized for. 

In actuality, their environmental impact hasn’t necessarily been felt yet, but it is not difficult to predict that their impact will be felt. The charge of Lithium-Ion batteries fade rather rapidly, and this will prompt an Airpod owner to do one of two things. The options for the user is to throw the Airpods away or replace them through apple. It is practically impossible to dispose of the headphones. Throwing them in the garbage could result in their Lithium-ion batteries at risk of catching fire, causing danger. Apple cannot offer battery replacements for the headphones because they are glued to other components of it. Their small design comes at a cost. Replacing the headphones is not successful because of their absurd price, and the consumer will see more value in just buying another pair. The result: Airpods will probably just be left in people’s homes once they no longer function. 

Though Airpods are not the only piece of technology that is not recyclable, their popularity highlights a rather overall problem. This problem is a tendency to ignore environmental sustainability for technological items. Tech is simply not designed to be recycled at all and yet its vast popularity does not seem to be challenged, not even by some of the most notable climate activists. Sustainability should be involved in all things available for consumers, and Airpods lack it.