The measure, which aims to reduce e-waste, will take effect in 2024.
The European Parliament (EP) gave this Tuesday the final green light for the USB-C type charger be the only model for all electronic devices in the European Union from the autumn of 2024the end of a political battle of more than a decade in Brussels to reduce e-waste that caused the lack of harmonization.
By 602 votes in favor13 against and 8 abstentions, MEPs gave the green light to the agreement reached in June to unify the use of USB-C in mobile phones, tablets, electronic books, digital cameras, game consoles and headphonessomething that will be mandatory two years after this legislation is adopted in products marketed after that date.
The current system, in which space was shared by the USB 2.0 Micro B, el USB-C y el Lightning (exclusive to Apple) thanks to a 2009 voluntary agreement, still contributed to generate up to 11,000 tons per year of electronic wasteaccording to estimates by the European Commission.
The new regulation aims to tackle this figure by allowing consumers to buy new electronic devices without having to purchase an additional charger (which will save citizens up to 250 million euros per year on unnecessary chargers) and also equalizes speed for devices that allow fast charging, no matter what charger is being used.
In the beginning, the laptops will not be linked to the new standards, but they will have to comply with them at most three and a half years after the entry into force of the standard (that is, approximately mid 2028).
Universal chargers: “This is the future”
The MEP who has spearheaded the negotiation, the Maltese Social Democrat Alex Agius Salibastaged the change before the floor with a box full of cables on one side of the dais and a single USB-C charger on the other side.
“This is the past,” he said, pointing to the box, “and this is the future,” he said, holding the single cable in his hand.
“We have waited more than ten years for this law, but the plethora of current chargers will soon be a thing of the past. The regulations allow the development of innovative charging solutions and will benefit everyonefrom consumers, fed up with changing chargers, to the environment,” he said later.
Also the Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Competition, Margrethe Vestagershared on his Twitter a photo with dozens of tangled cables and stated that “in the fall of 2024, the times when we had to fight with many different chargers will begin to become a memory of a strange past time, of unnecessary costs and inconvenience.”
With information from EFE.