The EU Parliament wants binding rules on common chargers
The European Parliament calls on the Commission to put forward beefed-up rules on common chargers by July 2020 at the latest.
There is an “urgent need for EU regulatory action” to reduce electronic waste and empower consumers to make sustainable choices, MEPs say in a resolution approved by 582 votes to 40, with 37 abstentions, calling for the mandatory introduction of common chargers for all mobile devices. Without hampering innovation, the EU executive should ensure that the legislative framework for a common charger will be “scrutinised regularly in order to take into account technical progress”. MEPs reiterate that research and innovation are vital to improve existing technologies and come up with new ones.
Parliament also wants the Commission to:
- Take measures to best ensure the interoperability of different wireless chargers with different mobile devices.
- Consider legislative initiatives to increase the volume of cables and chargers collected and recycled in EU member states.
- Ensure that consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device.
- Strategies to decouple the purchase of chargers from the purchase of new devices should be introduced with a common charger solution, MEPs say, stressing however that “any measure aiming at decoupling should avoid potentially higher prices for consumers”.
According to estimates, around 50 million metric tonnes of e-waste are generated globally per year, with an average of more than 6 kg per person. In Europe, total e-waste generated in 2016 was 12.3 million metric tonnes, equivalent to 16.6 kg on average per inhabitant. Short lifecycles for some devices also lead to more e-waste, notes the resolution.
- A standard for a common charger must be adopted urgently
- Measures empowering consumers to make sustainable choices
- Decrease e-waste generated in Europe (16.6 kg on average per inhabitant