February 28, 2020 9:20 am
The European Parliament has recently voted by 582 to 40 in favor of a resolution to establish a common charging standard for all mobile devices within the EU. The Parliament will now urge the European Commission to put forward new rules on a mandatory common charger solution by July 2020 at the latest.
One of the main reasons for the resolution is to reduce the e-waste. “There is an urgent need for EU regulatory action to reduce electronic waste, empower consumers to make sustainable choices, and allow them to fully participate in an efficient and well-functioning internal market,” said Members of the European Parliament in the resolution.
Figure 1: Different charger solutions
E-waste, also known as WEEE, is waste electrical and electronic equipment. According to estimates, around 50 million metric tons of e-waste are generated globally per year, with an average of more than 6 kg per person. In Europe, the total e-waste generated in 2016 was 12.3 million metric tons, equivalent to 16.6 kg on average per inhabitant. Short lifecycles for electric devices can lead to more e-waste, notes the resolution. With a common charger solution, the purchase of chargers would be decoupled from the purchase of new devices. Consumers do not have to acquire different chargers when purchasing new devices, which will effectively reduce the volume of chargers produced every year and thereby reduce this unnecessary environmental footprint. Figure 2 shows the term “e-waste” in all official EU languages from IATE:
Figure 2: Entry for “e-waste” in IATE
Parliament wants binding rules on common chargers to be tabled by summer. European Parliament News. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20200128IPR71205/parliament-wants-binding-rules-on-common-chargers-to-be-tabled-by-summer. Published 2020. Accessed February 10, 2020.
European Parliament resolution on a common charger for mobile radio equipment (2019/2983(RSP)). European Parliament. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RC-9-2020-0070_EN.html. Published 2020. Accessed February 10, 2020.
Sitting of 2020-01-13. European Parliament. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/vod.html?mode=chapter&vodLanguage=EN&startTime=20200113-19:39:11-616&date=20200113#. Published 2020. Accessed February 10, 2020.
MEPs vote for universal charger for smartphones. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51324847. Published 2020. Accessed February 11, 2020.
Written by ZHANG Zicheng, Study Visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). She comes from China and studies currently in the trilingual Master Program of Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Context at the University of Luxembourg. She likes traveling and language learning.
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