The European Union’s requirement that gadgets charge exclusively via USB-C ports from 2024 is a welcome move in many corners. It primarily affects Apple’s stubborn attachment to the Lightning port in lieu of the far more universally adopted connector, cables, and chargers. But it also means the end of new USB-A and micro-USB-powered accessories, ranging from headphones to portable speakers. The exception is laptops, which have a 40-month reprieve until 2025.
That sounds like good news — no one wants to be faffing around with different cables and chargers, after all. Plus, the EU directive estimates moving entirely to USB-C will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by around 180ktCO2e, material use by about 2,600 tons, and e-waste by 980 tons every year. So what’s not to love?