The iPhone X won’t (totally) destroy the environment. Here’s why

Apple shares an environmental report whenever it releases a new iPhone. Here's how the iPhone X fares.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read

It's no secret that the production and disposal of smartphones has a major impact on the environment. But if you're nervous that your iPhone is slowly destroying the planet, you may want to check out Apple's environmental reports, which reveal everything from the materials used in its products to info on recycling and restricted substances to carbon emission data.

Apple recently published its environmental report for the iPhone X and revealed that a single phone is estimated to produce 79 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions over the course of its life. That 79 kilograms of CO2 emissions is about the same as burning through 8.9 gallons of gasoline, or driving your 2017 Prius for 463 miles. It also makes for a bigger carbon footprint than that of any other iPhone except the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Watch this: iPhone X: An early first look

According to Apple's estimates, each iPhone model creates the following greenhouse gas equivalent:

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    Each iPhone X produces the equivalent of 79 kg of carbon dioxide emissions.

  • iPhone X: 79 kg of CO2
  • iPhone 8 Plus: 68 kg of CO2
  • iPhone 8: 57 kg of CO2
  • iPhone 7 Plus: 67 kg of CO2
  • iPhone 7: 56 kg of CO2
  • iPhone SE: 45 kg of CO2
  • iPhone 6S Plus: 63 kg of CO2
  • iPhone 6S: 54 kg of CO2
  • iPhone 6 Plus: 110 kg of CO2 (biggest footprint)
  • iPhone 6: 95 kg of CO2
  • iPhone 5S: 65 kg of CO2

About 80 percent of these emissions are said to come from the production of the iPhones, while about 15 percent is due to the amount you use your device (so don't feel too guilty about always being on your phone).

If you do feel bad about your phone's footprint, it might reassure you to know Apple takes certain steps to make its iPhones eco-friendly. For example, 55 percent of the iPhone X's retail packaging is made from recycled materials, and the stainless steel in the iPhone X is also recyclable.

The iPhone X will go up for preorder on Oct. 27, but if you're one of those people who always buys the latest and greatest iPhone as soon as it's released, you may want to think about the environmental impact each phone has. Or, at least, recycle your old phone.