EU demands return of replaceable smartphone batteries

Joy Onuorah
Joy Onuorah
EU demands return of replaceable smartphone batteries

The European Union has passed new regulations that will require smartphone manufacturers to design devices with user-replaceable batteries, signaling a potential comeback for smartphones with this feature.

Once the law is signed off by the European Council and Parliament, it will take effect in early 2027.

The regulations aim to address the environmental impact of batteries throughout their life cycle.

In addition to replaceable batteries, the approved regulations stipulate that rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles and mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, sold in the EU must provide information about their carbon footprint, carry a label, and have a battery passport.

The EU Council’s decision focuses on promoting sustainability and competitiveness in battery design, production, and waste management.

Producers will be required to meet collection targets for waste portable batteries, with goals of 63 percent by the end of 2027 and 73 percent by the end of 2030.

For batteries in light means of transport, such as electric scooters, the targets are set at 51 percent by 2028 and 61 percent by 2031.

The regulations also outline targets for lithium recovery from waste batteries, aiming for 50 percent by the end of 2027 and 80 percent by the end of 2031.

Major smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung, and Google, are expected to be affected by these regulations as they market battery-powered products within the EU.

While many smartphones currently have non-removable batteries, this shift in regulations may lead to changes in their future designs.

It remains to be seen how manufacturers will respond to the new requirements, but the EU’s push for easier battery repairs reflects a growing emphasis on sustainability and consumer convenience in the tech industry.

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