A Common Charger for All Phones? The European Union Is on the Case


LONDON — The European Union wants to make it easier to charge your cellphone and other devices.

This week, members of the European Parliament held a hearing on a measure to require smartphone makers to produce a common charger for all mobile and portable devices sold in the region, including tablets, e-readers and digital cameras.

The goal: no more frustration at borrowing a friend’s charger only to find it has a Lightning connector when you need a USB-C.

The proposal has been promoted not only as a matter of convenience, but also as a way to reduce electronic waste. Chargers have been estimated to produce more than 51,000 metric tons of waste annually in the European Union.

“We are drowning in an ocean of electronic waste,” said Roza Thun, a member of the European Parliament from Poland. “Demand grows and with it waste and exploitation of natural resources.”


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