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Handy Or Not? EU To Impose Universal Phone Charger After Maltese MEP Led Negotiations

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The European Union will impose a standard universal phone charger, hoping to cut back on waste, after Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba led the negotiations on the topic.

Agius Saliba said that the European Parliament insisted on binding requirements for European Universal Charger for more than a decade, and he welcomes the current proposal for a universal charger.

Up until now, the transition was left to US tech giants and private companies. “Needless to say, this is no longer acceptable, and the European Commission has finally responded to the European Parliament’s demands,” Agius Saliba said.

With the USB-C charger, mainly used by android smartphones, increasingly coming into use, this decision made the EU clash with Apple’s iPhones, which uses its own type of charger.

The EU argues that a one-size-fits-all cable for all devices will cut back on electronic waste, as European consumers end up with plenty of different chargers when switching devices.

Apple, on the other hand, argues that a universal charger will slow down innovation, thereby creating more pollution.

“The Commission’s long overdue proposal is a step in the right direction,” Agius Saliba argued. “But we need to ensure that the new rules will help reuse old electronics, save money, and reduce unnecessary costs to the consumer and the environment.”

But despite welcoming the decision, he thinks the Commission could have been more ambitious by covering all kinds of electronic devices and wireless chargers.

“EU legislation should be developed with any future technological developments in mind. Otherwise, we might risk being obsolete in a few years.”

According to the EU, Europeans currently spend around 2.4 billion euros per year on standalone chargers they bought separately.

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Do you think having universal phone chargers is a good idea?

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Belle dives deep into seas and stories. She’s passionate about mental health, environmental sustainability and social justice. When she’s not out and about with her dog, she’s more than happy to hear from you on Instagram @belledejong or at [email protected]

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