It would not only be a step against unnecessary electronic waste and thus against environmental pollution, but also a great relief for many users of mobile phones, laptops and Co.: The European Parliament wants to ban built-in batteries in electronic devices.
The aim of this measure is on the one hand to extend the service life of devices, which was previously limited by the built-in batteries of smartphones, laptops and the like, and on the other hand to uphold the idea of recycling. In the future, consumers should be able to easily replace the batteries in their devices themselves using standard household tools.
On the one hand, this measure is intended to help ensure that entire electronic devices are thrown away (sometimes unnecessarily), on the other hand, the EU Parliament wants to ensure that manufacturers consciously produce batteries more sustainably in the future.
The members of the EU Parliament have already approved a corresponding draft law by the EU Commission from 2020 and have even tightened it in some points. From 2026, a recycling rate of 90 percent should be achieved for batteries.
The European deposit system for rechargeable batteries and batteries should help with this. The new EU rules not only ban permanently installed batteries in smartphones, laptops and household appliances, but also in e-bikes and e-scooters. Manufacturers must also ensure that there are spare batteries available for the expected lifetime of a device.
Independent repair shops should also be given the opportunity to replace the batteries in smartphones, laptops and the like. With many devices, this was previously reserved for the manufacturers, who sometimes required the use of special tools. Users who do not dare to repair themselves receive another alternative.
Meanwhile, the industry criticizes that the rules of the new draft law affect the durability and safety of the batteries. The EU in turn wants to oblige manufacturers to provide information on the energy and performance of batteries in the future.
Information on the durability and charging time of the batteries should also become mandatory. This in turn could encourage consumers to buy more high-quality batteries and in turn reduce emissions.
According to the EU Parliament, the new guidelines should come into force on January 1, 2023. However, the EU Council of Ministers must first agree to this. Subsequently, the EU ministers and Parliament may have to work out common rules.