If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve got a pile of chargers left over from retired cell phones. You can’t use them with your new phone, but finding an innovative way of recycling the tangled up mass of wires can be difficult — quite the ecophile’s conundrum. Luckily, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) aims to revolutionize the cell phone industry. The UN group recently unveiled its Universal Charging Solution, a charger that can be used in all future cell phone makes and models — as long as cell phone companies comply.

phone chargers, sustainable design, green design, clean tech, international telecommunication union, universal phone charger

GSMA, a group that represents the worldwide mobile communications industry, helped design the universal charger, which features a micro USB connector. In addition to making things easier for consumers, the Universal Charging Solution could provide some serious environmental benefits. For one, it will dramatically decrease the number of chargers produced, shipped and discarded, preventing all that waste from winding up in landfills. The new solution is expected to eliminate about 51,000 redundant chargers. Plus, the chargers will reduce phones’ standby energy consumption by 50 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 13.6 million tons every year.

While the ITU won’t mandate that cell phone companies use the chargers, the GSMA has already seen significant interest from major players in the mobile phone market. Companies like LG, AT&T, DoCoMo, Samsung, Nokia and others have already partnered with GSMA, and Sony Ericsson announced it would launch phones compatible with the Universal Charging Solution during the first half of 2010.

Bye, bye, messy mass of cell phone chargers!

+ International Telecommunication Union

Via Good magazine

phone-charger-ed01 Photo by Mike Chino