The European Union has decided that all new smartphones, laptops, and tablets used by the public living in Europe will use a common charger by 2026. This mandate is an attempt to reduce the number of chargers one has to buy and the electronic waste that comes with it.
With this new ruling, there is an added level of involvement by the government in product design, something that has never been seen before. Furthermore, under this law, there will be a European standards body, which will consider the future charger design.
Many companies have opposed this law, including Apple, which argues that it will prevent companies from developing new and better-charging technologies.
The European Commission has announced that by 2024, all new mobile phones, handheld game devices, portable speakers, keyboards, mice, digital cameras, and earbuds will need to have a USB-C charging port. By making changes to portable devices early, the European Union aims to tackle laptop chargers and consolidate them by 2026.
The European Commission, a body of 27 nation blocs, has also announced that companies will have to sell devices without a charger. This ruling is another attempt at reducing electronic waste and the number of chargers currently in circulation.
They revealed that around 11,000 tons of waste are produced each year due to discarded and unused chargers. Therefore, through these rules, they aim to reduce the amount of waste produced. If a person uses one charger for multiple devices, it can help reduce the number of chargers one has to own, which is another positive to this situation.
If tech companies comply with this law, there may be global implications. Companies may attempt to make this law a standard for their products, and other countries may follow suit and pass similar laws. Therefore, soon, all products may use the same USB-C charger.