EU Calls For Universal Smartphone Charging Points to Reduce E-Waste

The European Union is in the process of drafting new legislation that would call for smartphone and tablet manufacturers to agree on and implement a new universal charging standard, aimed at decreasing the rising rates of electronic waste and improve the customer experience.

The proposed legislation is responsible, according to the European Union for “more than 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year,” was first proposed in the European Parliament back in 2009, which called for a “harmonised charging system”, which was followed by the 2014 ‘Radio Equipment Directive’ which called for a common charger to be developed.

According to the European Parliament’s website, “the commission’s approach of ‘encouraging’ industry to develop common chargers fell short of the co-legislators’ objectives. The voluntary agreements between industry players have not yet yielded results.”

“A common charger should fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices, MEPs will insist. The debate on Monday will be wound up by a resolution in a forthcoming plenary session,” they concluded.

Pundits have pointed out that the majority of recently-manufactured Android phones from Samsung, Huawei, Oppo and Google are already fitted with USB-C charging ports, and therefore the EU’s move could be seen as a thinly veiled attempt at getting US tech-giant Apple on board.

Apple made its response to the European Union stating that e-waste would continue, regardless of a universal charging port; the company claims that there is one-billion Apple manufactured ‘lightning’ charging ports, which would have to be discarded if users were to upgrade to a new one- in essence, the policy would be self-defeating of its principles. Pundits have pointed out that the company could be seen, however, as motivated by sales of its proprietary charging cables and accessories.

The roadmap of the proposed legislation can be accessed here.

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