UK operator O2 has been fronting a campaign to stop the bundling of chargers with mobile phones. O2’s ‘Charger out of the Box’ scheme was conceived to avoid waste as their research suggests 70% of customers already have suitable chargers and that there are 100 million unused chargers lying in UK homes and offices.
The company today confirmed that it will not be bundling a charger with the Sony Xperia SP (C530X). The retail package will only come with a micro USB cable to charge the phone with an existing charger or via a computer. If a customer needs a charger, O2 says it will supply one at a discounted price.
O2 has already trialled the eco-driven project with HTC phones and Nokia has signed up too. O2’s CEO Ronan Dunne said: “Taking chargers out of the box is a small change that has a huge environmental benefit – cutting down not just on waste, but also the environmental costs of transport, storage and component manufacture.”
He went on to say “we have trialled this scheme with two major handset launches and have been able to show our partners that consumers are ready to buy phones without the chargers – if the environmental benefits are explained clearly to them. Sony backing our campaign is a major step towards making chargers out of the box the norm in the UK and I very much hope that we will see others joining us over the course of this year.”
Sony’s Catherine Cherry, marketing director, added “there is a clear willingness amongst customers to listen to the environmental message, so from our perspective pilots like this are essential to reducing environmental waste. Networks and handset manufacturers have to take a lead on this area and so we were eager to run a trial with one of our leading smartphones. If it works well, we will obviously consider rolling this out more widely.”
How do you feel about packaging a new phone without a charger? Does it bother you or can you see the environmental benefits? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.