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The European Parliament approved new rules Tuesday that will introduce a common charger for small electronic devices in the European Union, a move proponents say will reduce waste in the bloc, Politico reported.
Under the new bill, USB type-C charging ports will become standard for portable electronic devices – such as smartphones, e-readers, tablets and digital cameras – starting in the fall of 2024. The standardized charging port will become the norm for laptop chargers beginning in 2026.
The new legislation received overwhelming support from EU lawmakers, who said the rules will help decrease the amount of electronic waste, reduce costs for consumers and allow for the reuse of old electronics.
But many smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, had previously resisted the EU’s plans over concerns that the measure would hinder innovation and create more waste, according to Axios.
According to the European Commission, chargers generate more than 11,000 tons of electronic waste annually. While the new rules are expected to significantly reduce this figure, it only covers a minuscule amount of the bloc’s e-waste.
In 2019, the EU collected 4.5 million tons of electronic waste.