BOSTON – Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday renewed her call for the United States to follow the European Union’s lead on universal chargers for smartphones and other mobile devices.
“Consumers shouldn’t have to keep buying new chargers all the time for different devices,” the senator from Massachusetts tweeted. “We can clear things up with uniform standards—for less expense, less hassle, and less waste.”
Last month, Warren, Sen. Ed Markey and Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, calling for a device chargers plan.
“In our increasingly digital society, consumers frequently must pay for new specialized charging equipment and accessories for their different devices. This is not merely an annoyance; it can be a financial burden,” the senators wrote. “The average consumer owns approximately three mobile phone chargers, and around 40 percent of consumers report that, on at least one occasion, they “could not charge their mobile phone because available chargers were incompatible.”
The letter stated that specialized chargers are often thrown away as they become obsolete, reportedly creating 11,000 tons of “e-waste” every year.
In June, the EUwhich would force all companies including Apple to make mobile devices compatible with the USB-C charger by the fall of 2024.
“[The EU’s] policy has the potential to significantly reduce e-waste and help consumers who are tired of having to rummage through junk drawers full of tangled chargers to find a compatible one, or buy a new one,” the senators said. “The EU has wisely acted in the public interest by taking on powerful technology companies over this consumer and environmental issue. The United States should do the same.”