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Universal phone charger not expected to impact WEEE arisings significantly

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recyclers have welcomed the environmental impact a universal phone charger will have, but say it will not make a significant difference to waste arisings.

Universal phone chargers, which will be able to power up any mobile phone device that can be connected to a computer, are expected to reach the European market in months. This follows the European Commission’s recent publication of the standards needed to manufacture it.

The EC hopes it will make life easier for consumers, while reducing waste and benefitting businesses. However many WEEE recyclers say the universal charger effect will not prove a problem.

A statement from Sims Metal Management, which recycles WEEE said: “Eliminating 51,000 tonnes of redundant chargers over a period of time is welcome but not hugely impactful when you consider the overall volume of recycled electronics.

“[But we believe] anything that reduces the manufacture of unnecessary products is a good thing because it helps conserve resources of the precious metals that are used to make them.”

WEEE recycler SWEEEP contracts manager Justin Greenaway added: “We obviously do collect transformers but the amount is not as huge as you might expect, so we won’t see much of an impact. However, it is a very positive thing to do from a consumers’ perspective.”

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