E-waste is a growing concern globally. In 2019, approximately 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste were generated. This is a marked increase of over 21% in just the span of half a decade reported by “Global E-Waste Monitor 2020” put out by the United Nations. This waste is projected to grow to 74 million metric tons by 2030, which is nearly a doubling in under two decades. Not only is there the impact of a large amount of waste entering landfills, but the resources contained in these computers and other electronic devices often are harmful to the environment to acquire or leach out from the devices when disposed of. The EU has proposed a solution that will take effect in 2024 to cut down on charger cable e-waste, which produces 11,000 tons of waste annually. While charger cables are only a small percentage of waste generated, the standardization of the USB C port for charging electronic devices will be able to eliminate thousands of tons of e-waste annually. In our research, we will outline how the standardization of charging technology of smaller electronic devices will produce a marked impact in the EU, as well as other countries that may choose to implement a similar standardization of charging cables when it comes to mitigating e-waste.

Author: Jacob Koch and Lily Edinam Botsyoe

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