Device manufacturers could soon be forced to use a common standard when it comes to chargers for their products. That is because the European Union has indicated that it aims to urge manufacturers to soon include universal charging ports in their devices.
The region started the Universal Charging Solution (UCS) in 2009 after a memorandum of understanding between 14 smartphone makers and the European Commission. That sealed a commitment for common standards applied to smartphones.
Soon, an amendment to radio equipment directive would be set by legislators in the commission to possibly require all devices in the region to comply with the current UCS. Such a recommendation has been widely adopted already by various manufacturers and has been backed by service providers from all around the globe.
This move is aimed at reducing the number of device chargers that currently end up in the garbage. There are present estimates that up to 82,000 tons of chargers are thrown by consumers in the region at least each year. It is a common knowledge that disposing such e-waste becomes more expensive to the government as it requires different measures from waste management firms.
EU logically believes that UCS could be a practical remedy to the challenging e-waste problem. It could be applied to the broadest range of mobile products and devices. That is why there is a greater urge to the European Parliament to act for the cause.
At the same time, the proposal could also significantly reduce the costs incurred by device manufacturers. That is because they would no longer be required to include a special charger every time they sell a device. Costs of production could be lowered through economies of scale. The issues on device duplication could also be addressed and strain on raw materials could be reduced.
There may be no problem in terms of consumers’ adoption. A recent study conducted by the UK telecom operator O2 has found that up to 82% of its customers are willing to buy a smartphone that does not come with a charger.
If this proposal would finally be implemented, devices in the region would be sold without chargers in the pack. In turn, universal chargers would be available separately and could be used in whatever type of device. It would the first broad region in the world to implement such a policy.
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