EU legislators take new aim at Apple’s Lightning connector with current e-waste push

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The European Parliament has decided overwhelmingly for stronger action to lessen e-waste, asking for the Commission to come up with beefed-up laws by July 2020.

Clearly, the parliament requires the Commission to utilise the delegated act anticipated in the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive by that deadline — or else table a legislative measure by the same time, at the latest.

The decision, which was supported by 582 votes to 40, shows out that MEPs have been asking for a single charger for mobile phones for more than a decade now.

However, the Commission has frequently delayed taking steps to enforce an industry-wide shift.

In The Words of the State

The parliament states that there is now “an urgent need” for EU administrative action on the issue — to recoil e-waste, enable customers to make sustainable decisions, and let EU citizens to “completely participate in an effective and well-functioning internal market”.

The decision sees that about 50 million metric tons of e-waste are produced globally every year, with an average of higher than 6 kg per person.

Till date, the Commission’s strategy to the charger e-waste problem has been to lean on the industry to take optional steps to lessen unnecessary variety.

This has occurred in a decrease of the number of charger varieties on the market — dropping from 30+ in 2009 to merely three now — but yet no universal charger which operates across brands and device types (phones, tablets, e-readers etc.).

Most distinctly, Apple proceeds to utilise its own Lightning port charger standard — while different device makers have changed to USB-based charging (such as the newest, USB-C standard).

When news appeared earlier this month of the parliament’s aim to vote on stronger measures to regulate mobile chargers Apple criticised the plan — disputing that administration would ‘choke innovation’.

Although the tech giant has had loads of years to grind over smart ways to switch from the established charging port, only it uses to one of two USB types used by everyone else.

So the ‘innovation’ discussion appears a slightly stale one.

Other Apple Actions That Resulted In E-Waste

Meantime, Apple has operated around former EU endeavours to push device makers to regulate charging on Micro USB by extending its revenue-generating dongle collection — and marketing Europeans a Lighting to Micro USB adaptor.

This resulted in compelling even more e-waste.

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