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In a statement by Jozef Síkela, the Czech Minister for Industry and Trade, the European Council gave its final approval to go ahead with an EU-wide USB-C charger directive.

In 2024, USB-C will become the industry standard for a wide range of electronic devices, encompassing phones, headphones, tablets and more.

EU consumers will no longer have to buy different chargers when getting a new mobile phone or other devices. With the new directive, you will only need one charger for most handheld devices, significantly improving convenience and sustainability.

One charger to power them all

The convenience of standardizing chargers and fast-charging technology will greatly reduce the amount of e-waste produced.

The minister said many users have at least three mobile phone chargers at home, noting that finding a suitable charger at work or home can be “quite annoying”. On top of that, chargers amount to an estimated 11,000 tons of e-waste annually.

According to the minister, having a charger that can service multiple devices will save time and money while cutting back on the amount of electronic waste produced in the EU.

Wireless charging

The new rules make USB-C mandatory for many devices. The directive mandates a logo to specify whether a device comes with a charger and a label showing charging performance specs. Consumers will also be given a choice to purchase a device with or without a charger — in case they already have a compatible one.

Wireless charging is widespread but has not been standardized across devices, something the European Commission said it would be working on. Four years after the USB-C directive goes into effect, the European Commission will assess how the plan turned out and whether wireless charging should become mandatory.