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The European Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly adopted a resolution calling on the bloc’s executive branch "urgently" force tech companies to use only one type of charger.
Legislators are asking for a generic charger that can be used with different brands and types of devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and e-book readers.
The resolution also calls on EU policymakers to look into ways to increase the number of recyclable cables and chargers, and to ensure that consumers are not required to buy a charger with every new appliance..
E-waste, the resolution says, was approximately 16.6 kg per EU resident in 2016, which totaled 12.3 million tons, which is an unjustifiably large amount.
Switching to a universal charger will affect Apple more than any other company, as iPhones and most of its mobile products are powered by a Lightning cable, while Android devices are powered by USB-C connectors..
While an Apple spokesman did not immediately respond to Thursday’s decision, the tech giant said last week that switching to a single charger would stifle innovation and will lead to a huge amount of e-waste.
«The bill will have a direct negative impact, disrupting the functioning of hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers around the world.», – said in a statement.
The European Commission, which serves as the EU’s executive branch, has been striving for a common charger for over a decade. In 2009, four companies, including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia, signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding to harmonize chargers for new smartphone models entering the market in 2011..
However, Commission officials say the voluntary approach is not working, and the EU executive is now considering the universal charger bill as one of the package of measures it plans for this year..
Commission to adopt new rules by July, lawmakers say.
According to the Commission’s 2020 work program, legislative action on the general charger is due in the third quarter..