Universal phone charger to slash waste

Posted by Alastair Otter on October 22, 2009
Posted in Green News, Lead

microusbTired of having a drawer-full of old, worthless chargers that can’t be used to power up your new cellphone? Well, the days of proprietary cellphone chargers are coming to an end.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) today approved a standard for a one-charger-fits-all format for future cellphone chargers. For consumers this means that they will not need to buy a new charger each time they change cellphones and they will be able to share a single charger between multiple users. For cellphone makers it will reduce the need to ship a new charger with each and every phone they produce, significantly reducing the number of chargers in production.

The move to a universal charger comes just two weeks before the Climate Change Talks to be held in Barcelona in early November and cements a decision first made at the Mobile World Congress in February. At the time all major manufacturers, excluding Apple, agreed to work towards a universal cellphone charger. Apple subsequently joined a European initiative to promote universal chargers by 2010.

The ITU says the new Universal Charging Solution (UCS) is expected to reduce standby energy consumption by 50% and “eliminate 51,000 tonnes of redundant chargers, and a subsequent reduction of 13.6 million tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions each year”.

The new charger format will use the MicroUSB input jack, a connection already built into many newer cellphones.

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