Leaked EU proposal reveals plan to make smartphone batteries easier to replace
Replacing a dead battery on smartphones used to be quite easy not so long ago. It didn’t require any professional help and users could easily pop the back cover open to access the replaceable battery. And having a replaceable battery on your smartphone was more of a norm than an exception. These days, however, replacing a dead battery on your smartphone is a herculean task that requires specialized equipment and poses the risk of voiding the warranty. But this might change soon as the EU is currently mulling over a plan to make smartphone batteries easily replaceable once again.
According to a recent report from Dutch financial publication Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), the EU wants to force electronics manufacturers to facilitate easier battery replacements. Sustainability seems to be the core idea behind this proposal, as easier battery replacements will allow people to use their smartphones for a longer duration, thereby generating lesser electronic waste. A leaked draft for the proposal was recently procured by FD and it reveals that Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the ‘Green Deal’ at the European Commission, will be presenting it mid-March. The EU is reportedly adding the finishing touches to the proposal, which will reportedly enforce wider product recycling, re-use of raw material, and more sustainable production.
The report comes just a couple of weeks after the EU voted in favor of forcing smartphone manufacturers to adopt USB Type-C as the standard port on all devices. The standardization of ports, coupled with easily replaceable batteries, is expected to greatly reduce e-waste. As per the proposal, the onus of reducing e-waste will fall on the manufacturers, who will have to ensure that their devices are easy to repair. They will also need to ensure that replacement parts are made available to the masses which, in turn, is expected to help repair companies. Furthermore, Timmerman has also proposed an EU-wide ban on the destruction of unsold items, which will promote the re-use of raw materials and reduce the waste exports to other countries.
Additionally, in a bid to promote recycling/reuse of old electronics, the EU will work on a European collection system for old mobile phones, tablets, and chargers. On top of all that, the proposal reveals that the EU also wants to focus on more extensive recycling of packaging materials and limit the use of microplastics in products and packaging.
Source: Het Financieele Dagblad