Why AirPods Are a Social and Environmental Disaster

We sat down with Caroline Haskins, author of 'AirPods Are a Tragedy,' to dig deep into the human cost of the ubiquitous buds.

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May 13 2019, 4:15pm

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For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they're glued together. They can’t be thrown out, or else the lithium-ion battery may start a fire in the garbage compactor. They can’t be easily recycled, because there’s no safe way to separate the lithium-ion battery from the plastic shell. Instead, the AirPods sit in your drawer forever. As reporter Caroline Haskins explains in her recent story, AirPods are an environmental tragedy. But beyond that, there's also a human cost of making this product, and invisible labor behind it. On this episode of The VICE Guide To Right Now Podcast, we sit down with Haskins to discuss about why AirPods are are a tragedy.

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