Published: Tue, 30 July 2013
Sean Kelly MEP is calling for the urgent EU-wide roll-out of a universal mobile phone charger to suit all phone types and cut costs for consumers.
There are over 500 million mobile phones in use across the EU and over 30 different chargers to suit the various connection points in the devices, posing a huge inconvenience to consumers according to Mr Kelly.
“The European Commission must speed up the introduction of the common charger. When the idea was set in motion in 2009, it had been envisaged that the charger would be in general use by 2012 but this is not the case.
“We live in an era when mobile phones are people’s lifeline to work and home, especially with regard to smartphones. It would make life much simpler for our citizens if one mobile phone charger could fit all phones.
“Currently, the industry is even producing different chargers for every new version of phone brand. The Commission must revisit the current state-of-play on this issue.
“The wastage and amount of specialised recycling needed to deal with all these unnecessary chargers are also damaging to the environment. This process currently generates more than 51,000 tonnes of electric waste per year in the EU.”
The Ireland South MEP, a member of the European Parliament’s Industry Committee, said a common charger could also help reduce costs as consumers would be able to purchase a new handset less the charger cost if they already had the universal charger.
“I have asked the Commission to provide an update as to their efforts to speed up and support the general use of a universal charger,” Mr Kelly said.