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Europe may force makers of smartphones, tablets and wireless earphones to install easily replaceable batteries

Europe may force makers of smartphones, tablets and wireless earphones to install easily replaceable batteries
Europe may force makers of smartphones, tablets and wireless earphones to install easily replaceable batteries

The EU may force phone, tablet and wireless earphone vendors to use easily replaceable batteries for their devices.

  • The EU may force makers of smartphones, tablets and wireless earphones to use easily replaceable batteries with their devices.
  • According to the Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, which obtained a draft of the EU's plans, the EU's executive arm – the European Commission – is drafting a proposal to force vendors to do this.
  • The newspaper added that Commission officials plan to formally submit their proposal for public discussions next month.
  • Business Insider has approached the European Commission for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The European Union may force makers of smartphones, tablets and wireless earphones to use easily replaceable batteries with their devices.

According to the Dutch business newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, which obtained a draft of the EU's plans, the EU's executive arm – the European Commission – is drafting a proposal to force vendors to do this.

Het Financieele Dagblad added that officials plan to formally submit their proposal for public discussions next month.

The EU's plan ties in with its larger goal of reducing e-waste – the waste generated by redundant, non-recyclable electronic devices.

Many smartphones sport sealed battery compartments that prevent users from replacing their batteries easily. This is the case with all Samsung smartphones released since the Galaxy S6, for example.

What's more, some smartphone vendors don't sell smartphone batteries to the general public as standalone parts. Instead, they only provide replacement batteries through specialized repair services. This is the case with many Apple iPhones and Samsung smartphones.

As such, many vendors can fairly be accused of producing excess e-waste, because users are required (or at least strongly incentivized) to buy replacement phones rather than replacement batteries.

The EU estimates that the total e-waste generated within its borders in 2016 was 12.3 million metric tonnes, or 16.6 kg on average per inhabitant.

It's an issue that's come under the spotlight recently, as the EU has pushed for a standardized phone charger that works across all smartphone brands and device types – another move aimed at cutting e-waste.

One major smartphone vendor, Apple, pushed back against this idea in January. The tech giant, whose iPhones sport a proprietary connector called the Lightning port, argued that "regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector stifles innovation." It further claimed that the introduction of a universal charging method would generate waste of its own. Unsurprisingly, the EU rejected Apple's claims.

Business Insider has approached the European Commission for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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