European politicians have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a regulation that will force smartphone manufacturers like Apple to produce just one type of charger for all handsets. This regulation will see a one-size-fits-all charger by the year 2017.

“This serves the interests both of consumers and the environment,” said MEP Barbara Weiler in a statement. “It will put an end to charger clutter and 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually.”

smartphone chargers

The law still needs approval from Europe’s council of ministers but it looks as though that won’t be a problem as they have already informally backed it.

It is thought that the universal design will involve a Micro USB connector because so many smartphones and other devices use this format already. This could prove to be a big change for Apple, which is one of the few companies that produces devices with its own unique power ports.

If the law does meet with full approval, then European member states will be expected to translate the regulation into national laws by 2016 at the latest. Manufacturers will then be given twelve months to implement the new design.

[Image via Technobuffalo]