The European Union’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager has announced plans for a study to determine whether there is a need to push for a common mobile phone charger.

The European Commission has been pushing for a common charger for nearly a decade as it cited the more than 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste yearly from old chargers as well as the inconvenience to consumers.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, iPhone and Android users have long complained about using different chargers for their phones.

In response to EU pressure, 14 companies including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2009, agreeing to harmonize chargers for new models of smartphones coming into the market in 2011.

Some of the companies subsequently signed letters of intent in 2013 and 2014 after the MoU expired in 2012.

“Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options,” Vestager said in an August 1 response to a query from an EU lawmaker.

Such studies help the Commission decide whether there is a need for action and analyse the impact of various options.