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Chances are, if you have owned more than one mobile phone in your life there is a drawer in your home dedicated to a collection of defunct chargers. In order to cut down on e-waste, the European Parliament voted last week to require all cell phone manufacturers to use a universal charger. The Radio Equipment Directive is expected to cut clutter by 51,000 tons annually and reduce the amount of interference between radio devices.

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While companies such as Samsung, Sony Ericsson, ALCATEL, Apple, Nokia, and Motorola have all signed agreements to manufacture a single model of USB charger, there are still those who feel that the EU legislation is a step in the wrong direction. Paul Nuttal, deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, believes that demanding one style of device will stifle innovation and put the market in the hands of regulators instead of consumers.

Regardless, the law was passed by 550 votes to 12. The legislation will now move on to Council of Europe for formal approval, and member states will have two years in which to hash out the particulars with manufacturers. Mobile phone companies will be granted an additional year to adjust their operations. With roughly half a billion phones supported by 30 different types of chargers in the EU, standardizing electronic accessories will go a long way to eliminating low batteries and gadget garbage.

Via The Daily Mail

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