Common charger: Parliament commits to reduce electronic waste |  Actuality

Common charger: Parliament commits to reduce electronic waste | Actuality

On 20 April the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection adopted its position on the revised Radio Equipment Directive and on Wednesday morning an announcement in plenary confirmed Parliament’s negotiating position. Parliament is now ready to start talks with EU governments on the final form of the legislation.

The new rules would mean that consumers no longer need a new charger and cable every time they buy a new device and can use a charger for all of their small to medium-sized portable electronics. Mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and earphones, portable video game consoles, and portable speakers that are rechargeable via wired cable should be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of manufacturer. The exemptions would only apply to devices that are too small to have a USB-C port, such as smart watches, health trackers, and some sports equipment.

This review is part of a wider EU effort to make products more sustainable, especially electronics on the EU market, and to reduce electronic waste.

Clear information on charging

MEPs also want to see clear information and labels on new devices about charging options, as well as whether a product includes a charger. This would help avoid confusion and make purchasing decisions easier for consumers, who often own several different devices and don’t always need additional chargers.

As wireless charging is used more and more, MEPs want the European Commission to come up with a strategy by the end of 2026 that will allow any new charging solution to work together. The aim is to avoid a new market fragmentation, to continue to reduce environmental waste, to guarantee cost-effective pricing solutions for the consumer and to avoid the so-called “lock-in” effects created by a consumer who depends on a single producer.


Speaker Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT) said: “With half a billion portable device chargers shipped to Europe each year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tons of electronic waste, a single charger for mobile phones and other small electronic devices. and medium-sized devices would benefit everyone. This truly global policy shift builds on the Commission’s proposal calling for interoperability of wireless charging technologies by 2026 and improving the information provided to consumers with clear labels. We are also expanding the ‘scope of the proposal by adding more products, such as laptops, which will have to comply with the new rules “.


Parliament and its Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection have been calling for a common solution for shippers over the past decade, continually calling on the Commission to act. The legislative proposal was filed on 23 September 2021.


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