In a new draft proposal, the European Commission will be looking into the possibility of forcing smartphone and tablet manufacturers to make their devices more durable and easier to replace. This proposal aims to limit e-waste and if it goes through, the commission says it will reduce carbon waste that’s equivalent to 5 million cars in the streets.
The draft focuses on batteries and replacement parts. Manufacturers will be forced to provide at least 15 essential components for each device, five years after its release. Those parts include batteries, displays, chargers, back covers, memory card/SIM card trays.
Additionally, the proposed legislation wants manufacturers to ensure either 80% battery capacity retention after 1,000 charging cycles or supply batteries for five years. Software updates shouldn’t have a negative effect on battery life too. These rules won’t apply to security and rollable /foldable devices, though.
The Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) says that although the draft seems reasonable and encouraging, it should go even further. For instance, the body believes that consumers should be entitled to both, battery replacements in the five-year life cycle and a guarantee that it would last at least 1,000 full charging cycles. It also suggests that consumers should be able to repair their devices without resorting to professional help.
If all goes to plan, the commission will introduce new labels that are similar to TVs, washing machines and other household electronics. These labels will show how durable the device is – water and dust protection, how resistant it is to drops and, of course , battery durability over the device’s life span.