The EU parliament has passed a law requiring the USB-C to be the only charger for all smartphones, tablets and cameras from 2024.
This new law was adopted with a vote of 602 in favour, and 13 against. The hope is that the change will not only make life simpler and cheaper for EU citizens but also reduce waste generated by people buying new devices and retiring old cables.
Companies that produce laptops will also have to follow this new law, though they have until 2026, rather than 2024, to make the switch.
In 2019, the average amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment collected in the EU Member States was 10.0 kg per inhabitant.
The switch to USB-C is expected to save €200 million euros ($195 million) per year and cut out over one thousand tons of EU electronic waste every single year, according to Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition.
“Today is a great day for consumers, a great day for our environment,” said Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba. “After more than a decade; the single charger for multiple electronic devices will finally become a reality for Europe and hopefully we can also inspire the rest of the world.”
“This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone – from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment.”
Inspired to act?
DONATE: Give your old electronics to Recycle Your Electricals to reduce waste and help someone in need.
GET INVOLVED: Get involved with The Restart Project, a people-powered social enterprise that aims to fix our relationship with electronics.