In order to protect the environment, removable batteries will have to be removable by 2027, according to a new European Union regulation. In recent days, the European Council has accepted the law that will help to avoid waste of parts.
However, environmental protection is not the only objective of this regulation. The approved law also seeks to end the monopoly of companies such as Apple or Samsung that force users to replace devices in their entirety.
According to the new law, by 2027, portable batteries included in devices must be removable and replaceable by the end user, allowing sufficient time for operators to adapt the design of their products to this requirement.
What are the implications of the EU removable battery law?
The regulation of this law will surely change the entire mobile device market. This is mainly because companies are not going to manufacture two different smartphones to be marketed exclusively in Europe and one for the rest of the world. In this way, the EU regulation will have a worldwide impact. The same will surely happen with the mandatory, also by an EU regulation, use of USB-C type chargers for iPhones.
The ordinance states that the batteries of the devices must be removable and replaceable by the end user. This means that anyone can remove and replace them without any technical knowledge. This not only affects mobile devices, but also vehicles and electric bicycles. No method of battery removal is specified, so the format will be determined by the manufacturers. This is expected to facilitate the recycling and reuse of batteries, thus reducing electronic waste.
Why does this measure serve to protect the environment?
The measure on removable batteries opens up the possibility that a cell phone in good condition can continue to function just by changing the battery. This aims to make the equipment more sustainable and not be replaced so quickly, which generates a large amount of waste. This will of course depend on the companies, although it is a step towards that path.
This regulation also includes directions for smartphone manufacturing companies to collect 50% of the lithium from discarded batteries by 2027 and increase to 80% by 2031. Batteries must include a label specifying their internal components, the amount of recycled material and also a QR code.
While the regulation gives companies until 2027 to adapt, there may be some manufacturers that start offering mobile devices with removable batteries before then. It will only be a matter of time before we know if there will be a change in the way devices are replaced or if the regulation will help reduce e-waste.