The iPhone story: hazardous waste and suicidal workers [Infographic]

It seems there is a lot going on behind the scenes in the production of Apple devices. When your shiny new iPhone arrives on your doorstep, remember that the Rwandan army made a quarter of a billion dollars by stealing the type of metal inside your phone, 43% of Apple’s suppliers don’t recycle or dispose of hazardous waste they way they’re legally supposed to and the suicide rate at a supplier’s factory in China has risen so much in the last five years that it’s installed nets around the building to catch the jumpers.

Yep. According to this infographic, all of this is just part of the real story behind your iPhone. Think about this: if you totalled the retail prices of all the iPhones made at a Foxconn factory (one of the major suppliers of components for everything from iPhones to Sony PlayStation) in a minute, you’d be able to pay the salaries of 11 workers for a year.

Seventy percent of its suppliers don’t store or handle hazardous waste correctly. Most old iPhones end up in places in China where seven out of 10 children have too much lead in their blood. Ok, so we can’t say that Apple’s ewaste is causing that directly (there are a lot of other manufacturers out there), but this infographic certainly implies that it does.

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Infographic courtesy of



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