Europe's first common mobile phone charger was unveiled in Brussels on Tuesday. The charger promises to help consumer and the environment.

Bridget Cosgrave, Director-General of DigitalEurope: "The new mobile phone common charger is a major step forward in technical terms for our industry and means that consumers will be able to use their common chargers with various mobile phones and other devices compatible with micro USB specification."

Europe has 500 million cell phones, and old chargers generate more than 51,000 tons of electric waste each year. A common charger will be reusable, even when switching brands.

Antonio Tajani, EC Vice-President in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship: [translated from French] "The advantages of the new charger are not just that it means a simplification of our daily life; it is also very good for the environment. And I'm very pleased to note that our initiative is generating enormous interest in other parts of the world."

The European Commission pushed companies for a single charger for years and in 2009 issued an ultimatum: voluntarily adopt a common charger or face new legislation. Fourteen major manufacturers jumped on board. They represent more than 90 percent of the phone market in Europe and include Apple, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson.

Bridget Cosgrave, Director-General of DigitalEurope: "In terms of adoption in other geographies, we are hopeful that it will be followed as it makes sense for the consumers, it's attractive, and it makes sense also for the producer."

The common mobile phone chargers should begin appearing in Europe later this year.