Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (802)

Trevor Sargent

Question:

921 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress on promoting phosphate-free detergents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1080/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The phasing-out of phosphate-based detergents has been progressed principally in the context of a voluntary agreement made in 1999 between my predecessor and the Irish Cosmetics and Detergents Association, ICDA, which represents some 90% of the domestic laundry detergents market in Ireland, and by ongoing liaison between my Department and the non-ICDA sector. The agreement provided that, by end-2002, 95% of all domestic laundry detergents marketed in Ireland should be zero-phosphate. While final audited figures for 2002 are awaited from ICDA, it is understood that this target has been substantially achieved provisional figures show a market share of between 93% and 94% for phosphate free products. My Department will continue to pursue the implementation of this target and the ultimate replacement of all phosphate based detergents by environmentally friendly alternatives.