In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who were elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. Both are Democrats. (stock photo)
WASHINGTON DC – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent a letter to Secretary Gina Raimondo urging the Department of Commerce to develop a comprehensive plan that will protect consumers and the environment by addressing the lack of a common charger among mobile devices.
Today, consumers frequently must purchase new specialized chargers for their devices, causing financial harms for consumers and a build-up of e-waste.
The lawmakers point to recent European Union (EU) legislation to require electronics manufacturers to adopt a common charger for mobile devices across the EU.
Consumers own an average of three different charging devices, and yet 40 percent report that they have been unable to locate a compatible charger to power up their device on one or more occasion. In addition to unnecessary expense for American consumers, disposing of and replacing chargers generates e-waste that leads to environmental damage, including spreading toxins in water, polluting soil, and degrading air quality.
Discarded and unused chargers alone generate more than 11,000 tons of e-waste annually.
“We commend the Department of Commerce for the steps it has already taken to address these issues, and we urge you to follow the EU’s lead by developing a comprehensive strategy to address unnecessary consumer costs, mitigate e-waste, and restore sanity and certainty to the process of purchasing new electronics,” the lawmakers write in their letter to Commerce Secretary Raimondo.
The Senators continue, “[The EU’s] policy has the potential to significantly reduce e-waste and help consumers who are tired of having to rummage through junk drawers full of tangled chargers to find a compatible one, or buy a new one. The EU has wisely acted in the public interest by taking on powerful technology companies over this consumer and environmental issue. The United States should do the same.”
You can read the Senators’ letter HERE.