Legit Reviews reports Apple will be pulling all their products from Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), a leading green consumer electronics standard designed to help mitigate the negative environmental impact of electronic manufacturing. Interestingly, when Apple originally was Gold Certified by EPEAT, they proudly trumpeted this on product packaging.
These kinds of green standards have a huge impact on making the electronics industry itself more environmentally friendly. That and with government agencies unable to purchase products that do not meet the EPEAT standard means that companies that do not abide by it not only fail to meet said standard they also lose out on possible government contracts. It is rather sad to see that Apple would opt out of these basic eco-standards that help the environment and recyclers in order to save on costs.
This of course comes down to how Apple designs their products, instead of making it easier for recyclers to dispose of electronic waste via dissassembly, Apple uses industrial-strength adhesives on things like the battery, which if forced from the case can puncture them causing hazardous material to leak out. Essentially Apple has opted out of a green standard, given up possible government contracts all for the sake of a slightly cheaper design, which is more important to them than the environment or recycling.