The European Parliament today adopted new EU legislation under which the use of phosphates in consumer detergents will be phased-out (1). The Greens welcomed the outcome, notably the extension of the ban from laundry detergents to automatic dishwashing detergents. After the vote, Green environment spokesperson Carl Schlyter said:
"The release of phosphates into surface water can have a devastating impact on freshwater sources and ecosystems, and it is high time that we take proactive steps to end this. Given that alternatives for phosphates in detergents have been on the market for years, a ban is long-overdue. The Greens pushed for the ban to be extended to consumer automatic dishwashing detergents, where alternatives are also readily available, and we are happy that this was included in the final legislation."
(1) Under the terms of the final agreement, phosphates will no longer be permitted in consumer laundry detergents from July 2013 and in consumer automatic dishwashing detergents from January 2017.