Apple has surprised environmental advocates with a sudden departure from a green products program, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The firm will no longer conform to standards set by EPEAT, an eco-friendly certifier backed by the EPA. "Apple has said that their design direction is not compatible with EPEAT standards," says EPEAT boss Robert Frisbee. "It's kind of odd since they've helped design" those qualifications. In the past, Apple has trumpeted its "gold" ratings from the organization.
A San Francisco city official says he doesn't understand the move. "It's really bad for EPEAT and it's really bad for anyone trying to do green purchasing." Indeed, the city will no longer be able to purchase Apple computers because its own rules require EPEAT certification. Apple's exit may be due to newly glued-in batteries in its MacBook Pros, notes the Mercury News. Recycling requires computers that can be taken apart, and "if you've glued in the battery with industrial strength glue, that is not designing with recycling in mind," says a green products advocate. (Read more Apple stories.)