A group of French environmental activists is suing Apple for indulging in planned obsolescence and other wasteful practices. France becomes the latest country after Brazil to call out Apple’s marketing and sales tactics that they are trying to greenwash.
Greenwashing, in its most basic form, is when a company tries to virtue signal about the environment and appear to care about it and take active steps to battle various environmental issues. In reality, though, they may not be doing much at all.
What makes Apple worse when it comes to greenwashing is that it goes out of its way to make devices obsolete and sometimes downright unusable just a few years after introducing them.
Apple is also one of the most vocal opponents of the Right To Repair movement.
In all its wisdom and glory, Apple decided that it would be a great idea to take the charger out of the retail box of the iPhone and sell it separately. Apple would explain that they were doing so to help save the environment, as people don’t usually need to upgrade their chargers that often. Apple has also introduced a monitor with an attached power cord that cannot be removed by users or by regular repair services but only by authorized service centers.
The motion has been filed by Halt Obsolescence Org, an advocacy group that fights for the right to repair and for the tech industry to shy away from planned obsolescence strategies.
“In many of the cases documented in the complaint, malfunctions are found where the device is repaired with a part, even an identical and original part, not authorized by Apple’s software,” the HOP association said.
The group said this would compromise the possibility of repairing or refurbishing some products, including iPhone smartphones.
In a similar case brought before the French consumer watchdog by the group in 2020, Apple agreed to pay 25 million euros ($26.32 million) for failing to inform iPhone users that updates of the operating system could slow down the functioning of the device. However, back then, the charges were mainly for consumer protection. This time, Apple is also charged with damaging the environment with its practices.