Network giant 02 has announced that from 2015 all new 02 phones will be supplied without a wall charger. The announcement follows a recently completed pilot scheme that saw new HTC phones supplied without chargers to new customers. In the pilot scheme, the first of its kind ever, customers who opted for HTC handsets were sent phones without chargers in a bid to reduce the impact on the environment that the old redundant chargers has.
Up until 2011 most mobile phone manufacturers used their own style of mobile charger, the connection that goes into the phone and the actual charge rate was unique to each handset. 14 mobile manufacturers including Nokia, RIM(Blackberry), LG and Sony Ericsson signed up to support the EU standard charger with a one size fits all plug that attaches to the handset and a USB connecter on the opposite side which can be either charged via a PC or through a wall mount adaptor.
02’s market research shows that most people will have at least one of the EU chargers at home already and for those that don’t a charger can be purchased at an extra cost either from 02 or one of the many aftermarket suppliers.
With approximately 30 million new phones being sold in the UK each year and have done in previous years, it is estimated that a staggering 100 million old mobile phone chargers are hanging around UK drawers and cupboards taking up space unnecessarily and is an environmental time bomb ticking away. Mobile phone chargers come under EU WEE regulations that means they cannot be disposed of in general waste and have to be de-manufactured and recycled properly.
A universal charger has been a long time in the coming and it is great to see all the major phone manufacturers and resellers pulling together to achieve a green objective even though they are actually in competition with each other and this example should be worked upon and extended into other areas or industries, especially those companies that have an environmental impact on the world. For instance the printer consumables industry, imagine how much waste and resources could be saved if the major printer cartridges manufacturers would come together to make a universal ink cartridges that would fit all printers, imagine how easy it would be to order your next cartridge if you only had one code or model number to remember.
In theory the thought of a universal printer and a universal cartridge does actually make sense but I’m sure the likes of HP will be quick to point out that this model would not work for many reasons, ink and print quality being amongst the strong points they would raise, OK so if we accept that we cannot achieve this for printers in the short term then why not have a universal power supply that fits all printers and why stop there, how about a device charger that will charge or power any device but then hang on!… Haven’t we gone full circle here, a universal charger is nothing new and they have been around for years so maybe what we need to do is not necessarily making new technology that may not be needed but doing more cross company talking, to utilise the technology across the board.
A big pat on the back for 02 for first of all having the for-thought of such a scheme and secondly for their efforts in bringing together “commercial enemies” to achieve their GREEN goals.
Michael is a content writer for www.cartridgeexpress.net. He writes blogs and articles on many subjects including industry news, recycling and printer cartridges.