Algae bloom off Gotland

Move to Ban Phosphates

The Swedish government has reversed policy and now wants to ban the use of phosphates in laundry detergents.

Previously Sweden has rejected what has become a common practice in many other countries, arguing that filtering at sewage plants was good enough to keep phosphates from entering the environment. Phosphate run-off can lead to algae blooms and other environmental problems.

In a press release, Environment Minister Lena Sommestad points out that there are more than one million small sewage facilities in Sweden, with widely differing standards.

This year’s algae bloom has already begun around the Baltic island of Gotland.

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