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Customers slam company over 'gross' new type of phone chargers: 'That can't be a thing'

They also noted that the packet contained alkaline batteries, which are both toxic and nonrecyclable.

They also noted that the packet contained alkaline batteries, which are both toxic and nonrecyclable.

Photo Credit: u/CLEstormtrooper8 / Reddit

In a world already drowning in e-waste, one company has added more fuel to the fire with a tech device designed to be trashed – the disposable "pop charger." 

Redditors voiced their dismay at the throwaway device in the r/Anticonsumption subreddit, where one user posted a photo of the offending item.

The picture shows an unopened packet containing a pre-charged wireless charger, billed as an "emergency charger" for those whose phone battery is running low on the go. 

Crucially, the packet bears the word "disposable" on its front, which implies that buyers can throw it in the trash when they are done using it.

disposable' phone chargers
Photo Credit: u/CLEstormtrooper8 / Reddit

"eWaste is getting out of hand," the Redditor wrote in a caption. 

Each pop charger contains alkaline batteries, which generally are single-use rather than rechargeable.

Although alkaline batteries are no longer considered toxic by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and can be put into your general household waste, they still contribute to the growing mass of solid waste that municipalities are struggling to shrink (in addition, California still considers these batteries toxic).

Americans throw away more than 3 billion batteries each year, which amounts to 180,000 tons of waste — 86,000 tons of that comes from single-use alkaline batteries. 

Rather than clamping down on the amount of solid waste we produce, the problem is getting worse. The World Bank says we already produce 2.2 billion tons of waste globally each year, which could grow to 3.7 billion tons by 2050.

The world cannot accommodate that much trash. In 2018, the Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Performance (SWEEP) predicted that the U.S. would run out of landfill capacity by around 2036. 

Our appetite for single-use disposables — visible most recently in the millions of single-use vapes now being sent to landfill — is only compounding this problem.

Not to mention the hazard that batteries present once they reach landfills. Even a small amount of charge on a battery can cause fires, which releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. 

"This is what happens when capitalism commodifies everything," one Redditor wrote. "We could have public charging stations at community centers and parks, but no, we have to create a ton of waste."

"This absolutely sucks but makes me realize how bad AA/AAA disposable batteries are," another commented. "I'm glad that we've largely moved past them (they used to be in everything) but there's really no reason we should be using them at all."

One user was shocked that pop chargers even exist, saying, "Omg that can't be a thing." Another simply called the invention "gross."

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