• June 8, 2023

Here comes the unique charger for smartphones and tablets – Donnamoderna

TOThe single standard for mobile phone and tablet chargers has been approved. It will also apply to headphones, cameras and video games

He had been waiting for years, now is the time to retire i old chargers for mobile phones and tablets, different according to brands (and often even models!). After the go-ahead from the Internal Market Commission of the Eurochamber for the adoption of thesingle power supply for electronic devices (including cameras), now the go-ahead from Parliament has arrived.

The charger will also be unique for headphones and consoles

This reform will allow to have a unique charger for smartphones, tablets and digital cameras, including accessories, such as headphones, earphones, speakers and even video game consoles. In short, it will no longer be necessary to go around with different cables depending on the devices, models and production companies, with the risk of having to change or buy them again when you change the device. The savings, therefore, will be both economic and environmental, with a reduction in technological waste. As explained by the rapporteur of the measure, the Maltese Alex Agius Saliba, there are an estimated 500 thousand chargers used in Europe every year, which become “from 11 thousand to 13 thousand tons of electronic waste”.

Which devices will the universal charger be worth (and which ones next)

As required by the legislation just approved, the new universal power supply will use a USB type C port, the one most commonly in use, at the end of a wired cable. The only exceptions are provided for those devices that, due to their small size, cannot use the standard inputs, but those of a smaller size, such as smartwatches and some sports devices (heart rate monitors for training or health-type tracking). However, contrary to what is requested, the legislation will not also be extended to computersso that laptops can also be powered with a single charger compatible with other devices.

A single cable with USB-C port

The decision came after the pressure of the European Commission, which had already dealt with the matter in the past, limiting itself only to suggesting the adoption of a single European standard. It was 2009 and it was done at the time a memorandum of understanding, on a voluntary basis, which had reduced the number of possible recharging solutions from 30 to 3. Then came the proposal for a directive, which therefore must be transposed by all Member States. To ensure the interoperability of the various devices with external power supplies, the Usb-C ports. Consumers will be able to recharge various devices with a single battery charger, which will no longer differ according to the manufacturer of the appliance. Not only the “external outputs”, therefore the shape, will be harmonized, but also the technologies and the fast charging speed. “It was an indication that had been expected for years and is now welcomed a little by everyone, especially because lately the classic contrast between Apple and non-Apple products has also been joined by the difference between the other brands, so even large manufacturers they had adopted their own standards that were not compatible with the other major companies on the market »comments Vincenzo Donvito, president of the consumer association Aduc.

The purchase of the ccharger will no longer be mandatory

Another passage of the text concerns the possibility to choose whether to buy the battery charger or not when you buy a new device: a choice that could make the difference, when you already have a compatible charger (it must be said that Apple already sells its iPhones without a charger). “Certainly in the family we will be able to avoid duplication, at least when we are at home” confirms Donvito.

The timing

With the last go-ahead from the EU Parliament, now the procedure is triggered: «Presumably, Member States will be given 24 months to implement it with national laws. But in this case it is very likely that the manufacturing companies will adapt even earlier, right awaybecause they produce not for individual countries, but for a much broader market such as the European one “, predicts the expert.

Less e-waste and an easier life for consumers

Brussels’ objective is to reduce the production of electronic waste, in the form of highly polluting and short-lived cables. According to the EU Commission, in fact, around 1,000 tons of materials will be thrown away every year, with a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by about 180,000 tons of CO2 per year. Some 420 million smartphones and other portable electronic devices were sold in the European Union last year alone. Their number is certainly not destined to decrease, on the contrary. Often a consumer also owns three cell phone chargers, using two on average on a regular basis. According to a European survey, 38% complain of problems in charging their devices due to the incompatibility of the chargers.

How much you save with a single charger

In addition, the ability to reuse available battery chargers with multiple devices will also help saving € 250 million per year for European consumers. Worldwide, spending on battery chargers is estimated at around 2.4 billion euros. “The numbers are very high in both cases, but above all for waste: the single cable can be more easily recyclable and reusable for multiple devices because it will also work for multiple brands, with a very substantial reduction in unusable material” concludes Donvito.

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