To: Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
We all carry around chargers. When we forget to, there is a risk we won’t be able to find the right charger and end up with a dead battery.
There is no good reason for not having a common charger yet. It’s time to sort out the chaos of chargers we all struggle with.
For 10 years, there has been a debate on moving towards a common charger for all mobile phones and other small- and medium-sized devices, such as tablets and e-book readers. In 2014, the European Parliament adopted a directive demanding a common charger in the EU. Because of aggressive corporate lobbying - in particular from Apple - we are still not there.
This is not only about making our lives easier. Every year, 50 million tons of e-waste is generated worldwide. 12.3 million tons of that e-waste comes from Europe. Chargers are produced with precious resources and reducing the number of chargers is a step towards a more sustainable economy.
And in the end it’s we, the consumers, who pay the price as we are forced to buy a new charger with every device. It’s no coincidence that Apple is the company resisting universal solutions the most - they are the ones making the most money out of this arrangement.
This is not just about chargers, it’s about who is in charge. Elected political representatives, or corporate lobbyists? We are sending a clear message to the Commission: stop blocking the common charger.