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MEPs plan universal phone charger

Mobile phones should have a universal charger to help cut down electronic waste, according to European MPs.

In a vote on an update to EU radio equipment laws, MEPs agreed on the introduction of a common charger. The amended draft law stipulates that the ability to work with common chargers will be an essential requirement for radio equipment.

However, it will be up  to the European Commission to decide which specific types of radio equipment will have to meet this requirement.

Rapporteur Barbara Weiler said: “This serves the interests both of consumers and the environment. It will put an end to charger clutter and 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually.”

The draft law still has to be formally approved by the European Council. Member states will have two years to transpose the rules into their national laws and manufacturers will have an additional year to comply.

Earlier this week European commissioner for the environment Janez Potocnik called for greater reuse and recycling in designs.

Manufacturers will need to consider ways of reusing and recycling products in order to alleviate “intense future pressure on resources”, he said.

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