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EU moves toward common cellphone charger

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Consumers weary of cycling through new chargers when they buy new mobile devices would have their burden lifted under legislation that overwhelmingly passed the European Parliament earlier this month.

By a vote of 550-12, the parliament approved a directive that includes a provision that "mobile phones that are made available on the market should be compatible with a common charger."

"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," said Barbara Weiler, a member of parliament, in a press release.

The parliament and the European Council of Ministers, which also must approve the legislation before it becomes law, already informally agreed on the directive, so it appears headed for enactment. E.U. member states would then have two years to implement the law, and after that, mobile device manufacturers would have a year to comply.

Many mobile devices already use the common micro-USB charger. Notably, however, Apple's iPhone uses a unique charger, and some versions of the iPhone also require different chargers.

For more:
- go to the text of the directive

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