LONDON ( Associated Press) – Forget rummaging through the junk drawer. Soon, Europeans will only need access to a single cable to charge their smartphones and other devices.
EU officials said on Tuesday they signed a tentative agreement that would require a similar charging cord across the 27-nation bloc. It is part of a broader effort to make products sold in the EU more sustainable and cut down on electronic waste.
The new rules, which will take effect by the fall of 2024, mean that EU consumers will be required to use only a normal USB Type-C cable for small and medium-sized rechargeable, portable electronic devices.
European Parliament’s chief negotiator Alex Agius Saliba said at a press briefing in Brussels, “European consumers were disappointed by the accumulation of many chargers in their homes.” “Now, they will be able to go with a single charger for all portable electronics, which is an important step in increasing consumer convenience.”
Devices covered include mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles, keyboards and mice, portable speakers, and navigation devices.
Laptops are also included, but manufacturers will have additional time to comply.
The rules only apply to equipment sold in the European Single Market, which includes 30 countries. However, like the strict privacy rules of the European Union, they may become a de facto standard for the rest of the world.
While many electronics manufacturers have begun to adopt USB-C sockets in their devices, Apple has been one of the main holdouts.
Apple, which did not respond to a request for comment, previously said it was concerned the rules would limit innovation and harm consumers. The company’s iPhones come with their own Lightning charging port, though newer models include cables that can be plugged into a USB-C socket.
EU regulations also outline standards for fast charging technology and give consumers the right to choose whether to purchase new devices with or without a charger, which the EU estimates cost consumers up to 250 million euros a year. (266 million dollars) would be saved.
Reducing electronic waste is another goal. The European Union estimates that disposed or unused chargers account for 11,000 metric tons of e-waste each year in Europe.
“One out of every three chargers bundled with these products is never opened from its original packaging,” Saliba said.
The European Union spent more than a decade trying to get the electronics industry to adopt a common charging standard, an effort that reduced the various charging plugs to a handful, until the Commission, which is the executive arm of the bloc. , forced the issue with the draft law last September. ,
The European Parliament and European Council are expected to formally approve the deal after the summer break.
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