Have you ever been at a friend’s house with a dying cell phone only to find out that they don’t have the right kind of charger to save your struggling battery? Well, that may soon be a thing of the past in Europe.
The European Union has spent almost a decade trying to nudge cell phone manufacturers into using the same standardized charger. Since their efforts have been unsuccessful thus far, they may be implementing legislation that will put an end to the frustrating tech situation.
The EU isn’t just pushing the issue because it’s an inconvenience to consumers – their studies indicate that over 51,000 tons of electronic waste end up in landfills every year as a result of old and incompatible chargers.
Due to increasing pressure from lawmakers, a dozen cell phone manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung, and Nokia all signed a memorandum of understanding in 2009 agreeing to adopt the same micro-USB charger. When the memorandum expired in 2012, however, several of these companies signed their own letters of intent in contradiction to the agreement.
Annoyed by the lack of cooperation, EU regulators are now conducting studies on whether or not further action should be taken to address the issue. If studies indicate that legislation should be necessary, then lawmakers will likely bring an end to the wasteful disagreement.
“Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options,” said Margrethe Vestager, according to Reuters.
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