According to EPEAT, it commissioned a technical test lab to perform disassembly tests under five ultrathin notebooks in its investigation. After obtaining disassembly instructions from each ultrathin maker, the lab found that disassembly of the products was under 20 minutes in all cases. "Given their findings, the lab recommended that all products be found in conformance with EPEAT requirements," the organization concluded.
However, Greenpeace argues the lab findings don't reflect conditions in the real world.
"Consumers will not risk violating their product warranty to change a battery using instructions they don't have with tools they don't own, and are sure to conclude that the entire process is too complicated and instead buy a new product," Harrell says. "The result will be electronics with a shorter lifespan and more e-waste."
"Electronics need to be designed so that people can upgrade and repair them as easily as possible," he adds. "If companies can't make products that can be easily fixed, they shouldn't be sold."
It's no secret that Greenpeace and Apple haven't been on the best terms over the years. Greenpeace has been particularly critical of how Apple powers its data centers for its cloud infrastructure. Nevertheless, even the environmental group concedes Apple has become greener in recent times.
"We don't always see eye-to-eye with Apple," Harrell said in an interview last year, "but I can say without a doubt that Apple has improved on many environmental issues over the past five years."