Call to Ban Phosphates in EU

Sweden has joined with several other countries in encouraging the European Union to phase-out phosphates in laundry detergents.

Along with Sweden, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary and non-EU member Norway have written to the European Commission calling for common regulation of phosphates, which cause algae blooms in restricted waterways like the Baltic Sea.

The former Social Democrat government proposed banning phosphates in detergents in Sweden last year, but in November a report from the Swedish Chemicals Agency said a ban was unnecessary.

Now Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren tells Swedish Radio News that a ban is necessary, and it is especially important to restrict emissions of phosphates from countries in Eastern Europe.