Common charger: Parliament commits to decreasing digital waste – The European Sting – Crucial Information & Insights on European Politics, Financial system, Overseas Affairs, Enterprise & Expertise

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

Parliament is able to begin negotiations on a typical charger to scale back e-waste and make the usage of completely different cellphones, tablets and digital cameras extra handy.

The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee adopted its place on the amended Radio Equipment Directive on 20 April and a plenary announcement confirmed Parliament’s negotiating place on Wednesday morning. Parliament is now prepared to start out talks with EU governments on the ultimate form of the laws.

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

This revision is a part of a broader EU effort to make merchandise extra sustainable, specifically 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 units about charging choices, in addition to whether or not a product features a charger. This would assist to keep away from confusion and make buying selections simpler for shoppers, who typically personal a number of completely different units and don’t at all times want extra chargers.

As wi-fi charging is used increasingly more, MEPs need the European Commission to current a method by the top of 2026 that permits for any new charging options to work along with one another. The purpose is to keep away from a brand new fragmentation out there, to proceed to scale back environmental waste, guarantee charging options are handy for shopper and keep away from so-called “lock-in” results created by a shopper being depending on a single producer.


Rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT) mentioned: “With half a billion chargers for portable devices shipped into 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. This truly comprehensive policy change builds on the Commission’s proposal by calling for the interoperability of wireless charging technologies by 2026 and improving information given to consumers with clear 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.”


Parliament and its Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee have been asking for a typical charger resolution over the past decade, constantly calling on the Commission to behave. The legislative proposal was tabled on 23 September 2021.

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