Detergent move boost

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Sir,

Washing powders and dishwasher detergents must be phosphate-free in future, following a vote in the European Parliament.

The measures will help clean our rivers and lakes, and will help protect aquatic life in waterways and seas around the EU.

This is an agreement in which everyone is a winner.

By strictly limiting phosphorus in consumer laundry and dishwasher detergents we help to protect the environment and reduce the costs of running waste water treatment plant.

Consumers will be assured the products they use for these everyday tasks are that bit more environmentally friendly.

Companies making these detergents will not have to deal with a patchwork of 27 different national laws across the EU.

At the same time, the fears of some that more innovation and development was needed before we could fully make the transition to phosphate-free dishwasher detergents have been addressed, by delaying until 2017 this part of the restriction and asking the Commission to assist with further studies.

I am glad that our own UK government backed this collective European effort to improve our environment.

Bill Newton Dunn, Lib Dem Euro-MP for Derbyshire