Exciting news from the European Union promises to make smartphones more user-friendly in the near future. PC Magazine recently reported on a groundbreaking ruling, stating that all “portable batteries” in devices like smartphones, tablets, and cameras must be designed for easy removal and replacement by consumers themselves.
Currently, most of these devices come with sealed batteries, making replacement a daunting task requiring special tools and expert knowledge. However, with the new law set to go into effect in 2027, manufacturers will have to overhaul their designs to meet the user-friendly battery requirement. The ruling could be delayed if companies need additional time to comply.
Although this rule initially applies only to the EU, experts believe it may become widespread across global markets. Making separate versions of devices solely for the EU would be a costly and inefficient endeavor for manufacturers.
Aside from the evident benefits for users, these new rules could help save countless smartphones from ending up in landfills. Shockingly, over 150 million smartphones are discarded each year, posing a serious environmental hazard. When these devices end up in landfills, they release toxic metals, contaminating water and soil. The challenge arises because replacing a battery often costs nearly as much as buying a new phone altogether, leading people to discard their devices instead of repairing them.
The requirement for easily replaceable batteries is expected to bring multiple advantages. Firstly, consumers will save money as they won’t have to replace their entire phones due to a faulty battery. Secondly, this move will drastically reduce e-waste, which is a pressing global issue. According to Euronews, recycling removable batteries will contribute significantly to saving the environment and conserving precious resources.
The EU’s new rules also set high targets for waste collection and recycling. Batteries contain rare elements like lithium, cobalt, and nickel, which can be efficiently reused when the batteries are recycled. Consequently, recycling old batteries will diminish the need for extracting new raw materials.
The EU’s ambitious vision is to achieve a remarkable milestone by 2031: 95% of materials recovered from old batteries, some of which will be repurposed for new batteries. This circular economy approach aims to benefit both the environment and the economy.
EU parliament member Achille Variati expressed pride in this historic legislation that covers the entire life cycle of products, emphasizing its positive impact on the environment and economic sustainability.
As the new regulations come into effect, smartphone manufacturers will have to adapt, leading to more accessible and environmentally friendly devices. Users will undoubtedly welcome this revolutionary change that fosters a future of convenient, sustainable, and user-centric technology.