The European Commission has announced that it expects the first universal mobile phone chargers and compatible phones to be available from early this year.
The charger has been standarised on a Micros-USB connector and is the product of an industry-wide agreement struck in 2009.
Mobile phone makers that agreed to the new standard include Apple, Huawei, Motorola, LGE, NEC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung amongst others. The agreement only covered phones that are able to be connected to a computer.
The availability of such a charger is hoped to reduce the waste that occurs when customers change phones and are left with functioning but useless chargers.
While the standards for the charger have been set, European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship urged signatories to begin selling the universal chargers.
"Now it is time for industry to show its commitment to sell mobile phones for the new charger. The common charger will make life easier for consumers, reduce waste and benefit businesses. It is a true win-win situation," he said.