Senate Democrats are urging the Commerce Department to develop a plan that would allow consumers to use a common charger for mobile devices, following in the footsteps of a European Union law.

  • Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Thursday asking the department to address the lack of interoperability among chargers.
  • The issue places a financial burden on consumers, forcing them to “frequently” pay for “new specialized charging equipment” for different devices. And it leads to environmental harm by producing electronic waste that can spread toxins when not disposed of properly, they wrote.

Earlier this month, EU officials agreed to a rule that would require a common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU by 2024.