Apple, responding to criticism from environmental groups, unveiled plans on Wednesday that Chief Executive Steve Jobs claimed would make the company greener than most of its competitors.
In a message titled, "A Greener Apple," posted on the company's Web site, Jobs gave details for the first time of what the company was doing to remove toxic chemicals from its new products and more aggressively recycle old products.
"Today is the first time we have openly discussed our plans to become a greener Apple," Jobs wrote. "I was surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors in these areas."
Among the initiatives are Apple's plans to completely eliminate the use of arsenic in all of its displays, and stop using polyvinyl chloride and brominated flame retardants in its products by the end of 2008.
The company also said it would extend a program to Apple stores worldwide this summer, where it takes back unwanted iPod digital media players free of charge for environmentally friendly disposal.
"We apologize for leaving you in the dark for this long," Jobs wrote, adding that the company would give updates of its efforts at least annually.