The mess with different chargers for mobile phones and tablets etc is coming to an end as all of them must use the new standard for portable devices – USB Type-C. But you will have to wait a bit more. The new standard is from the end of 2024. The European Parliament has now formally approved the de facto already agreed standard.
Buyers will be able to choose whether to purchase a new device with or without a charger as having one for several devices would be enough. Disposed of and unused chargers account for about 11 000 tonnes of e-waste annually in the EU, according to the European Parliament.
By the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port. From spring 2026, the obligation will extend to laptops. The new law, adopted with 602 votes in favour, 13 against and 8 abstentions, is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices, the EU Parliament says in a statement.
“Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charger every time they purchase a new device, as they will be able to use one single charger for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.”
Regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.
All devices that support fast charging will have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger.
“As wireless charging becomes more prevalent, the European Commission will have to harmonise interoperability requirements by the end of 2024, to avoid having a negative impact on consumers and the environment. This will also get rid of the so-called technological “lock-in” effect, whereby a consumer becomes dependent on a single manufacturer”, the Parliament says.