European Wildlife proposes using a universal charger for laptops in the EU as of 2015

2011 - 07 - 20

Landfills are slicing more and more land from open countryside each year in Europe, with disposed electrical appliances generating an increasing portion of the total volume of waste.

European Wildlife therefore suggests that the European Commission initiates the process of a common standard for laptop chargers, to be developed by European standardisation authorities, similar to that governing chargers for mobile phones initiated some time ago.

According to this conservation organisation, it would also be possible for the Commission to initiate a voluntary agreement of laptop manufacturers on a new standard for chargers including connectors. They also believe that the new standard can enter into force by 2015.

The effects of the unification of chargers for laptops in Europe would be positive in several fields. A uniform charger would eliminate the necessity of buying a new device each time a new laptop is purchased by the customer. This would save both money and the environment. “It would reduce the CO2 emissions in the production of new chargers and their transport, while avoiding tens of thousands of tonnes of electrical waste,” said Dalibor Dostal, Director of European Wildlife.

Currently, electrical waste is the fastest growing type of waste, now making up to 5 percent of solid domestic waste in terms of weight. In European Union countries, where households annually produce about 8 million tons of electrical waste, the volume of this type is growing at a rate of 3 to 5 percent annually, which is nearly three times faster than that of the total volume of waste.

Experts estimate that due to the growth of sales in electronics, the European Union will have to cope with nearly 11 million tonnes of electrical waste in 2020, while ten years later, annual production is to rise to almost 14 million tonnes. Added to this is some three million tonnes of electrical waste generated by organisations and corporations.

At the same time, the issue of electrical waste does not solely apply to the countries within the Community. Due to being exported illegally, this type of waste produced in developed countries increasingly pollutes the environment in developing countries.

Therefore, today European Wildlife has sent a letter to Antonio Tajani, the EU Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, in which they asked the official to initiate steps that can lead to producing a standard for a common European charger for laptops.

This solution is not only environmentally friendly, but also practical. “Perhaps every one of us faced a situation when they needed to recharge the battery in their notebook, but their own charger was not available and any help from colleagues was not useful, because their adapter was one of a different type,” added Dalibor Dostal.

Laptops are now the best-selling type of computer, surpassing the worldwide sales of desktops in 2008.

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