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Apple Watch ditches USB power adapter, sets scene for iPhone 12 launch

Apple is ditching the USB power adapter from its Apple Watch packaging, as part of its commitment to reducing environmental waste.

After announcing the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, the company gave an update on its commitment to going carbon neutral by 2030. As part of that, the company is removing the physical power brick in the new models, which Apple says will eliminate the carbon equivalent of 50,000 cars per year.

That’s quite the reduction and gives you some idea just how much damage those little chargers do. The physical charging dock will still be included, but Apple is relying on users having plenty of USB power bricks at their disposal.

This has been rumoured for the iPhone 12, and today’s announcement practically confirms Apple will go this route when the next generation arrives later this year. We’d expect Apple to follow suit with the new iPads announced today also, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

Related: Apple Watch Series 6

The company says the Apple Watch uses a 100% recycled aluminium case, arsenic free glass, 100% recycled rare earth elements and 100% recycled tungsten in the Taptic Engine. There’s also no BFR, no PVC, no beryllium and no mercury in the construction. The firm also says the packaging is made from 95% recycled fibres.

As well as going 100% carbon neutral in products by 2030, Apple is also transitioning to 100% renewable energy for the production of its devices.

The decision is probably going to annoy some newcomers who have to buy a separate USB charger, but selling them isn’t Apple’s endgame here. It is under pressure from regulators around the world to help cut down on the tech waste that ends up in landfill every year. The EU, for example, wants Apple to switch from Lightning cables to a standardised USB-C cable.

Losing the power brick should appease these calls s0mewhat, as well as assist the company in meeting its own environmental goals.