Global Universal Laptop Charger Standard May Soon Reduce E-Waste


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The benefits of technology come along with many challenges, chief among them is the disposal of electronic waste. Being a theme that is greatly explored by policy makers and device manufacturers, the disposal of e-waste has inspired several ingenuous products including the IEC’s (International Electrotechnical Commission) push for universal cell phone chargers.

“The IEC International Standards for the universal charger for mobile phones has been widely adopted by the mobile phone industry and is already starting to help reduce e-waste. A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers is the next step in lowering e-waste and its impact on our planet. I am proud that the IEC has yet again managed to make the best possible technical solution available,” – IEC general secretary, Frans Vreeswijk.

IEC Technical Specification 62700 aims for laptop charger compatibility over a range of laptops. Covered in the document are safety, interoperability and environmental considerations. Connector and the plug are both catered for in the specification but the existence of a universal adapter is still not achievable due to technical realities.

It is hoped that this standard will reduce the risk posed by e-waste disposal currently estimated at half a million tons annually.

The universal charger is planned for release in early 2014.