EU calls for mandatory universal charger despite Apple angst

The approved resolution aims to see more chargers get recycled

In an effort to minimize electronic waste, the European Parliament passed a resolution yesterday calling for the mandatory adoption of a universal charger. 

Members overwhelmingly approved the resolution: 582 voted in favor, 40 against, and an additional 37 took abstentions. 

Three specific goals were outlined by Parliament’s associated press release: to enstate charger universality across phone brands; to increase the volume of recycled cables and chargers; and to ensure that consumers are no longer required to purchase new chargers upon acquiring new devices. 

Behind Asia, Europe produces the most amount of e-waste, generating more than 12 million tons per year - an average of 16.6 kg per inhabitant - according to the Platform Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE). 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Why so much waste? Charger lifespans are notoriously short, and innovating companies remodel designs regularly, rendering older models essentially useless. A universal charger would eliminate the need for consumers to constantly update and replace their device’s only necessary accessory.

Apple signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding agreeing to standardise its chargers back in 2009.

However, the company openly opposed abandoning its Lightning cable in a statement released last week, arguing that enforcing designs “stifles innovation rather than encouraging it”. 

“Legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide,” added the statement. 

The European Commission will present a legislative initiative on common chargers during 2020’s upcoming third quarter. 

While the European Green Deal has outlined several substantial environmental goals (zero pollution, waste management, and resource efficiency policies) for the new decade, an abrupt shift in charger requirements would render millions of Apple chargers unusable - instantly generating millions of tons of e-waste. 

Featured Resources

Digital Risk Report 2020

A global view into the impact of digital transformation on risk and security management

Download now

6 ways your business could suffer if you don’t backup Office 365

Office 365 makes it easy to lose valuable data regularly, unpredictably, unintentionally, and for good

Download now

Get the best out of your workforce

7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automation

Download now

8 digital best practices for IT professionals

Don't leave anything to chance when going digital

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/27717/how-to-fix-a-stuck-windows-10-update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020
Visit/security/34616/the-top-ten-password-cracking-techniques-used-by-hackers
Security

The top ten password-cracking techniques used by hackers

10 Feb 2020
Visit/software/linux/354831/microsoft-to-add-defender-antivirus-software-to-linux-ios-and-android
Linux

Microsoft to add Defender antivirus software to Linux, iOS and Android

21 Feb 2020