Apple switches to a plastic-free packaging for repaired iPhone 12 units

Apple has begun to use eco-friendly packaging for sending back repaired iPhone 12 units to further eliminate the use of plastic wrappings in all product packaging.

A still image from an iPhone 12 unboxing video that shows unwrapping the plastic wrapping of Apple's packaging for the phone
Apple wants to eliminate plastics in packaging by 2025. | Image: Harris Craycraft / iDB
  • Apple has switched to eco-friendly packaging for returning repaired iPhone 12 models to customers in North America and other markets.
  • Before this change, the company used to deliver repaired iPhone units to consumers in white boxes wrapped in plastics.
  • Getting rid of plastic packaging won’t just benefit Apple, but also the consumer and our planet. The move ties in with Apple’s self-proclaimed goal of eliminating plastics in all packaging by 2025.

Repaired iPhone 12 units in eco-friendly packaging

Apple is one step closer to its stated goal of eliminating plastics from its packaging by 2025. As noted by MacRumors, the Cupertino company now uses eco-friendly packaging for returning repaired iPhone 12 units to customers. If you send your iPhone 12 in for repair, Apple will return your repaired unit in a brown box, created with bleach-free paper made up of 100 percent plastic-free materials.

Apple began utilizing this eco-friendly packaging in June 2022. It’s now using those new brown boxes to send all repaired iPhone 12 models shipped from Apple Repair Center depots to the company’s own retail stores, its authorized service providers and/or directly to customers in the United States and other countries.

An internal memo notes that the Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit, has certified the new box as friendly to the environment. You could view this through the lens of a cost-cutting move by a greedy corporation, but there’s no denying that getting rid of plastics in product packaging has an actual positive impact on the environmental factors. Read: How to use your Apple ID balance

A white box makes way for a brown one

Before this change, all repaired iPhones were delivered to customers in a white box with a plastic wrapping. Given Apple’s size and iPhone sales, this move is going to help the company get rid of plastics in all its packaging by 2025. Apple has optimized iPhone packaging several times in the past. Back in 2021, for example, it tweaked the iPhone 13 packaging slightly to reduce the use of plastics. As a result of those changes, iPhones are no longer bundled with chargers (and headphones).

By redesigning iPhone packaging to be much thinner, Apple has not only reduced the use of materials but also its own carbon footprint when shipping these boxes. All in all, Apple has managed to reduce plastics in its packaging by 75 percent since 2015. In 2021, plastics accounted for just four percent of all of the company’s product packaging. Read: The best wallet cases for all iPhone 13 models