Common charger: MEPs agree on proposal to scale back digital waste – The European Sting – Crucial Information & Insights on European Politics, Financial system, International Affairs, Enterprise & Expertise

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This article is delivered to you in affiliation with the European Parliament.

MEPs assist a typical charger for moveable digital gadgets, decreasing e-waste and making using completely different cellphones, tablets and digital cameras extra handy.

On Wednesday the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee adopted its place on the revised Radio Equipment Directive with 43 votes in favour (2 towards).

The new guidelines would ensure customers not want a brand new charger and cable each time they buy a brand new machine, and may use one charger for all of their small and medium-sized digital devices. Mobile telephones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and moveable audio system, rechargeable through a wired cable, must be geared up with a USB Type-C port, whatever the producer. Exemptions would apply just for gadgets which are too small to have a USB Type-C port, resembling sensible watches, well being trackers, and a few sports activities gear.

This revision is a part of a broader EU effort to handle product sustainability, specifically of electronics on the EU market, and to scale back digital waste.

Clear data on charging

MEPs additionally need to see clear data and labelling on new gadgets about charging choices, in addition to whether or not a product features a charger. This would, they are saying, assist to keep away from confusion and ease buying selections for customers that always personal a number of completely different gadgets and don’t all the time want further chargers.

With the rising utilization of wi-fi charging, MEPs need the European Commission to current a method by the tip of 2026 that permits for minimal interoperability of any new charging options. The objective is to keep away from a brand new fragmentation available in the market, to proceed to scale back environmental waste, guarantee client comfort and keep away from so-called “lock-in” results created by proprietary charging options.


Rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (MT, S&D) stated: “With half a billion chargers for portable devices shipped in Europe each year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, a single charger for mobile phones and other small and medium electronic devices would benefit everyone. It will help the environment, further help the re-use of old electronics, save money, and reduce unnecessary costs and inconvenience for both businesses and consumers. We are proposing a truly comprehensive policy intervention, building on the Commission’s proposal by calling for the interoperability of wireless charging technologies by 2026 and improving information given to consumers with dedicated labels. We are also expanding the proposal’s scope by adding more products, such as laptops, that will need to comply with the new rules.”

Next steps

Once Parliament as a complete has accredited this draft negotiating place on the May plenary session, MEPs will probably be prepared to start out talks with EU governments on the ultimate form of the laws.


Parliament and its Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee have been asking for a typical charger answer over the past decade, repeatedly calling on the Commission to behave. The legislative proposal was tabled on 23 September 2021. The Council adopted its negotiating place on 26 January.

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