The European Parliament adopted new rules Tuesday introducing a common charger for small electronic devices like smartphones and tablets.
The new law means that starting in the fall of 2024, USB type-C will be the standard charging port for smartphones, tablets, e-readers, keyboards, computer mice, GPS devices, digital cameras, headphones, headsets and earbuds, hand-held video game consoles and portable speakers. Starting in 2026, USB-C will also become the norm for laptop chargers.
A common charger is not only good for the environment; it's also positive for consumers' wallets, Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said: "This will represent savings of at least €250 million annually."
"It’s not the end of the story," Vestager said. "We will need to monitor the evolution of charging technologies; we will look at whether or not there is a need to improve consumer convenience, save costs, improve environmental performance and that will allow us to consider extending the scope."
After the directive enters into force, the Commission will have two years to come up with new rules to regulate and standardize wireless-charging technologies.
After a one-year negotiation process between the three EU institutions, the legislative proposal was met with strong approval from the European Parliament, with 602 voting in favour and only 13 voting against. This initiative is widely seen as an effective way to both reduce e-waste and empower consumers. The three EU institutions agreed on the details of the common-charger directive in June.