There’s a new, two-tone green Xbox Wireless Controller launching in time for Earth Day, which is April 22. Microsoft is touting the gamepad’s made-from-recycled-plastics heritage, but mostly, the thing looks cool and it’s a new color for the console-and-PC compatible peripheral.
Tuesday’s announcement of the Remix Special Edition controller said it was made from “recovered plastics with one-third of it made from regrind and reclaimed materials.”
For those not hip to materials science jargon, “regrind” means parts from old Xbox One generation controllers were used in the making of the new model. Additionally, “post-consumer recycled resins are incorporated from reclaimed materials like automotive headlight covers, plastic water jugs, and CDs.”
It’s a nice gesture, but fans who really are concerned about plastics’ impact on the environment should keep their eyes on the ball: Reducing consumption is the most effective way to reduce waste, after all. Research has found that just 9% of plastic waste has ever been recycled, and the ocean is notoriously full of waste plastic, some of it forming enormous, floating garbage patches.
In 2021, Microsoft launched an “Ocean Plastic Mouse,” that comprised 20% recycled plastic in its manufacture. But the benefit of reusing that much plastic was effectively wiped out if the company sold 20% more mice thanks to the new model, one expert told The Verge.
For those wondering, yes, the Earth Day Remix Special Edition controller does come with a rechargeable battery pack. (You can also just put two rechargeable AAs in it. Or plug the thing into the console.) So at least it reduces consumption in that regard. The controller is $84.99 and will be in stores and available from Xbox.com on April 18.