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Google pledges to include recycled materials in all its consumer devices by 2022

The search giant also says shipments of its products -- like Google Home speakers or Pixel phones -- to be carbon neutral by next year.

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Google wants to use more recycled materials in its consumer devices.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google says it's trying to reduce its carbon footprint. The search giant on Monday outlined its sustainability efforts for its "Made By Google" line of consumer hardware, which includes Pixel smartphones, Google Home smart speakers and Nest thermostats.

The company said all its devices will include recycled materials by 2022. The company said it already uses post-consumer recycled plastic in some of its Nest products, but it will commit to using more types of materials going forward. 

Google also said that by next year, all shipments of its products going to or from customers will be carbon neutral. That means there would be no net release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, usually by doing something to offset carbon dioxide emissions, like planting trees. 

To reach carbon neutrality, Google will work with shipping partners to reduce emissions, a spokeswoman said. For example, that means doing more shipments by ocean instead of by air, the company said. For the emissions that remain, Google will invest in "high-quality carbon offset" projects, including landfill gas projects and animal waste management systems.

Google's announcement comes as tech giants try to address the environmental toll of their electronics. Companies like Google and Apple release new versions of their hardware devices every year, leaving consumers with decisions over what to do with their old devices. Apple has a lab in Austin, Texas, that researches new methods for recycling electronics. 

Last year, Google began publishing environmental product reports that detail what devices are made out of and how they are shipped. 

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