Do you have a video iPod? A Nano? A Mac? Next question: What are you going to do with it when it dies? Much as we love these Apple gadgets, they happen to contain some pretty nasty chemicals—lead, arsenic, and mercury, to name a few—that leak into the ground if the machines are left in dumps or landfills.

In the past, environmental groups have accused Apple of beating around the bush—the company, they said, never quite explained their plan for controlling those pesky chemicals. But today, Apple announced plans to reduce the number of toxins in its products and ramp up its recycling program—and to report on these new policies in annual progress reports.

From an announcement by Steve Jobs on Apple’s website:

"It is generally not Apple’s policy to trumpet our plans for the future; we tend to talk about the things we have just accomplished. Unfortunately this policy has left our customers, shareholders, employees and the industry in the dark about Apple’s desires and plans to become greener. Our stakeholders deserve and expect more from us, and they’re right to do so. They want us to be a leader in this area, just as we are in the other areas of our business. So today we’re changing our policy."

We know that Apple likes to keep its info under wraps (witness: all that hype about the iPhone), but darned if we know why you would want to keep your “desires and plans to become greener” on the D.L. Congrats, Apple, for finally unveiling your super-secretive plans.

This article originally appeared in Plenty in May 2007.

Copyright Environ Press 2007