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Easily replaceable mobile phone batteries become EU Law

28 June, 2023

Easily replaceable mobile phone batteries become EU Law

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The need for such legislation was first presented by the European Commission in December 2020.

The idea was based on 3 main principles:

  • mobile phones and tablets must be designed to be energy efficient and durable
  • consumers must be able to easily repair, upgrade and maintain them
  • the devices must be able to be reused and recycled

On the 16th of June 2023, the EU issued the new regulation that outlines the requirements that must be satisfied by all such devices sold in the EU. This regulation brings some very interesting development on the table, as it forces manufacturers to design more eco-friendly devices, that are easier to repair, reuse and recycle.

Keeping in mind that over 150 million phones are disposed of every year due to the inability or extremely high cost of repairing them, this is a very welcome change that will definitely make an environmental difference in the near future.

The regulation’s ecodesign requirements relate to:

  • design for reliability, including resistance to accidental drops
  • scratch resistance
  • protection from dust and water
  • battery longevity
  • the ability to be disassembled and repaired
  • the availability of operating system version upgrades
  • data deletion and data transfer if the device no longer works
  • the provision of appropriate information for users, repairers and recyclers
  • battery endurance

Furthermore, the regulation dictates that the price of spare parts should be reasonable, so as to encourage owners to repair their device instead of replacing it. The spare parts should be easily available and allow the device owner to do what’s necessary to restore any lost function that the malfunction caused, or even upgrade their device’s capabilities.

It is interesting to note here that the regulation does not apply to two very distinct device categories, which are mobile phones or tablets with a flexible main display, and mobiles used for high security communication.