UK mobile network provider O2 just announced that they will not be releasing a charger with the new HTC smartphone. Why you ask? Well, their research has revealed that the UK “has more than 100m chargers lying in drawers, tangled in cupboards and generally gathering dust. The majority of phones are now upgrades and chargers that use USB cables, meaning the bit of plastic that plugs into the wall can actually be used by pretty much every phone.” By doing this, the company believes they can divert an amount of plastic waste from landfills equivalent to the weight of 1,000 London buses!
In a statement, Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 in the UK, said: “The environmental cost of multiple and redundant chargers is enormous and I believe that, as the mobile phone has become more prevalent, we as retailers and manufacturers have an ever-greater responsibility to be a more sustainable industry.”
Of course, if customers need a charger O2 will sell them one for “cost price” – however they have stressed this new move is all about reducing the industry’s environmental impact. The company added that “the 100m unused chargers we estimate the UK owns have already had a huge environmental cost: the weight of 1,000 London buses worth of components, enough copper and plastic to wrap The O2 200,000 times and, if we threw them all away at the same time, four Olympic swimming pools worth of landfill space.”
In case you were wondering what the exact environmental cost of chargers was, it is estimated that 100 million chargers use 18,700 tons of components and 124,274 miles of copper wire and plastic covering. If you have any spare chargers lying around, it would certainly be worth the effort to recycle them!