EU Legislation To Protect The Environment

14 December 2011

Alyn Delighted At Ban On Phosphates In Detergents

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has welcomed new EU legislation which bans the use of phosphates, which can have a detrimental effect on ecosystems, from household detergents.

The European Parliament today (Wednesday) adopted the legislation under which, phosphates will no longer be permitted in laundry detergents from July 2013 and in automatic dishwashing detergents from January 2017.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Alyn said:

"This is great news, this legislation will positively affect Scotland.

"The release of phosphates into surface water can have a devastating impact on the environment and so it was high time that we took proactive steps to end this. Given that alternatives for phosphates in detergents have been on the market for years, a ban was long-overdue.

"With over 6,000 lochs and lakes in Scotland including Loch Lomond, the largest expanse of freshwater in UK, it was imperative steps were taken to prevent damage to their ecosystems. Scotland's natural beauty is well regarded, including our seven Blue Flag beaches which have been recognised by the top international benchmark for water quality and cleanliness.

"We had pushed for a ban to be extended to consumer automatic dishwashing detergents, where alternatives are also readily available and so I am delighted this was included in the final legislation."