Almost all mobile phones will use a universal charger within five years, following an industry agreement announced yesterday.
Under the plans, all the major mobile phone manufacturers will only make handsets that are compatible with a common USB connector by 2012.
Companies which have signed up to the pledge so far include Nokia, Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile, Orange, AT&T and Vodafone, with the sole notable exception being Apple.
The charger will also minimise energy use by consuming 50 per cent less energy than those currently in use, with experts from the GSM Association predicting that this will cut greenhouse gases in manufacturing and transporting replacement chargers by 13.6 million tonnes per year.
Michael O'Hara of the trade body said: "This is a broad agreement that will move the industry to a single, energy-efficient charger."
The standardisation of mobile phone chargers follows pressure from the European Union, which found that there are currently over 30 different types of charger being employed in Europe.