Thibeault introduced bill to curb e-waste
OTTAWA –Today New Democratic Consumer Protection Critic Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury) introduced legislation which would mandate the creation of a standardized universal cell phone charger for all new mobile phones sold in Canada. Thibeault’s Private Member’s Bill would amend Canada’s Telecommunications Act through the inclusion of specific language that would compel cell phone manufacturers to create a standardized charger for newly manufactured cellular phones. The Bill sets a deadline of December 2012 for the creation of regulations necessary to set the appropriate standardization for companies to begin manufacturing the universal chargers.
According to Thibeault, standardizing cell phones chargers is long overdue for the Canadian telecom market. “The creation of a universal battery charger would serve dual goals. First, it would remove the financial burden from consumers who are almost always compelled to purchase a new charger when their old phone is broken or lost. Second, it would also significantly reduce the volume of electronic waste which Canadian consumers are sending to landfills with increasing regularity,” said Thibeault.
In 2009, The European Union implemented a similar initiative, which resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding with 14 mobile phone manufacturers to make their device compatible with the standard. Apple, Research in Motion, Motorola, and Nokia are just some of the big name manufacturers who have signed onto the E.U.’s plan to standardize cell phone chargers.
“We know that when the average consumer purchases a new cellular device they overwhelmingly dispose of their current charger, even if it’s in perfect condition,” added Thibeault. “The E.U. experience has shown that manufacturers are willing to the steps necessary to develop cellular charger standards. Therefore, we should begin moving towards this model, as the changes will have positive consequences for the environment, through the reduction of e-waste, and for consumers’ wallets”.