O2 will pilot the world's first mobile phone to be sold without a charger, as part of a new partnership with HTC.
The scheme will be tested with a forthcoming device from the Taiwanese manufacturer, which will be sold by the end of this year. O2 said removing the charger will reduce the environmental impact caused by the packaging and transport required. The operator estimated 70% of customers who buy one of the 30 million handsets sold in the UK each year already have a charger that will work with their device. Research estimated there are around 100 million unused chargers in the UK.
Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 UK [pictured], said: 'The environmental cost of multiple and redundant chargers is enormous and I believe that, as the mobile phone has become more prevalent, we as retailers and manufacturers have an ever-greater responsibility to be a more sustainable industry.'
Phil Roberson, UK regional director for HTC, said: 'HTC is excited to be supporting this pilot, because like O2, we think that it is the right time to inform our customers about the environmental impact of wasted phone chargers, as well as the benefits of using the chargers and mains adapters that they already own. We strongly believe in the benefits of a common industry micro-USB charger and have implemented this hardware across our entire portfolio. A unified approach across all manufacturers and retailers would dramatically decrease the industry’s carbon footprint, not only in terms of manufacturing but also packaging and transport.'
O2's Think Big sustainability campaign is aiming to supply phones charger free by 2015 to cut down on environmental waste.
Editor: Graeme Neill