The European Parliament has voted in new legislation that will introduce a common charger for small electrical devices like smartphones and tablets.
In 2024, new rules will be adopted making the USB type-C the standard charging port for smartphones, tablets, e-readers, keyboards, GPS devices, headphones and more.
From spring 2026, the obligation will extend to laptops.
The legislation passed with 602 votes in favour, 13 against and eight abstentions.
It is hoped that the universal charger vote will create less waste that is harmful to the environment and will save consumers money. It is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices
Chargers generate between 11,000 and 13,000 tons of electric and electronic waste annually, according to the European Commission.
The new rules are expected to reduce this waste massively.
Android phones already have the charging port, but Apple is going to have to make big changes in Europe to get their products up to speed with the new rule.
Smartphone companies have previously tried to avoid a universal charger rule coming into force, and vowed to reduce the amount of charging technologies used over the last 10 years, but now one charging port will have to be adopted by all producers.
Apple has been the outlier in the industry, and now they are going to have to remove their lightning port and replace it with a USB-C connection.
Apple recently launched the iPhone 14 and it was thought that they would opt for a USC-C port, but they stuck with the lightning port.
Now the company will have to embrace the universal charger, alongside other major electrical goods manufacturers.
EU member state governments are expected to give final approval during the Environment Council meeting later this month. EU countries will have six months to transpose it into their national laws.
Speaking about the vote, the Parliament's Alex Agius Saliba said: "The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past.
"This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone — from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment."