Universal Phone Charger Approved, Could Save 13.6 Million Tons of CO2

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Photo via RusselljSmith via Flickr CC

Earlier this year we caught word that the EU might force universal cell phone chargers onto manufacturers. "Force" is a little rough...more like "require them to be environmentally responsible and simply logical and quit manufacturing planned obsolescence and exclusivity into piles of plastic and wires." Last week, a universal charger was approved by the International Telecommunication Union that, while not being "forced" upon manufacturers, is available for them to adopt as they roll out new phones. The BBC reports that the new charger has a micro USB connector, and is energy efficient. "We are planning to launch the universal charger internationally during the first half of 2010," Aldo Liguori, spokesperson for Sony Ericsson told the BBC. "We will roll it out with new products as they launch."

The ITC states, "Every mobile phone user will benefit from the new Universal Charging Solution (UCS), which enables the same charger to be used for all future handsets, regardless of make and model. In addition to dramatically cutting the number of chargers produced, shipped and subsequently discarded as new models become available, the new standard will mean users worldwide will be able to charge their mobiles anywhere from any available charger, while also reducing the energy consumed while charging."

According to the GSMA, 51,000 tons of redundant chargers are manufactured each year, and this universal charger could displace many of those...if they are adopted by cell phone manufacturers. With companies such as LG, AT&T;, DoCoMo, Samsung, Nokia and many more partnering with GSMA on a universal charging solution, we're optimistic that this will be a solution implemented over the next couple years. Not only will we see a reduction in e-waste and GHG emissions, but the GSMA also predits it will cut standby power consumption by mobile phones by 50%.