Couple Slammed for Giving Out Single-Use Phone Chargers in Wedding Gift Bags


Jun. 14 2023, Published 3:23 p.m. ET

Watch what you post on social media. The reaction you get may be different from what you were expecting. Just ask newlyweds Miles and Toni, who got some criticism from a TikTok video where Toni showed off the single-use phone chargers she included in gift bags for her wedding guests.

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Several critics of the TikTok video posted by @newlynorton pointed out how non-environmentally friendly the phone charger wedding gifts are — keep reading for the full story.

Women plugging phone charger in.
Source: Getty Images
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A couple is causing controversy for handing out single-use phone chargers as wedding gifts.

A couple named Miles and Toni were married on May 13, 2023. Toni, the bride, documented on TikTok the preparations leading up to the wedding and the actual wedding day. But it was her video about their unique wedding guest gift that garnered over 10 million views.

"This is one of my favorite party favors for our wedding," Toni narrated the video. "These are individual, one-time use battery chargers."

She explained that she and Miles had a feeling that their wedding was going to be "super lit" and that people would want their phones to stay charged to document the festivities.

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At the end of the short TikTok video, she asked her followers what they thought of the idea.

“Disposable…? Why not have one they can reuse?” one person commented. “Lovely for the planet,” wrote another.

“And I am not allowed to drink out of a plastic straw,” commented someone else.

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Several people also asked why the couple didn’t instead include rechargeable power banks, which could be reused. Others, who didn’t appear to have a problem with the wedding gift idea, wanted to be invited to the wedding.

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Single-use chargers are a terrible idea for the planet.

Passing out single-use phone chargers as party favors may seem like a cool idea, but not if you are concerned about the environment. Many of the single-use phone chargers will be thrown away, adding to the 50 million tons of e-waste disposed of annually, reports Tearfund.

E-waste — discarded computers, cell phones, TVs, etc. — represents 2 percent of trash in American landfills, and accounts for 70 percent of toxic waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), e-waste is the fastest-growing municipal waste stream in the U.S.

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Besides the plastics used to make single-use phone chargers, many also contain lithium batteries. Lithium batteries contain toxic metals such as nickel, cobalt, and manganese, which can leach out of landfills and contaminate water supplies and ecosystems.

The specific phone chargers Miles and Toni were passing out to their wedding guests have lithium-polymer batteries, which are generally safer and more environmentally friendly than lithium-ion batteries.

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Solar panels behind someone using a cell phone.
Source: Getty Images

Are there eco-friendly portable phone chargers?

If you are looking for a phone charger that has less impact on the environment, simply opt for a reusable one instead. There are even various portable power banks on the market that run on solar power, and gain energy by sitting out in the sun.

And, if you like the idea of providing phone charging to your wedding guests, consider hiring a phone charging locker station for the event!

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