§ Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his discussions with industry on the use of hard-core detergents which contribute to the foam nuisance and buildup of hard materials in rivers ; and what consideration he has given to the associated problems concerned with international trade.
§ Mr. Rossi
Agreement was reached with manufacturers in 1964 to restrict the manufacture of hard anionic detergents for use in the home, and subsequently major manufacturers also agreed to discontinue the production of hard nonanionic detergents for use in the home by the end of 1971. In paragraphs 45 and 46 of its fourteenth progress report the Standing Technical Committee on Synthetic Detergents referred to the position reached in discussions with industry at March 1973 and I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the report.
The EEC has since adopted a directive which, when implemented in member States, will have the effect of banning the sale and use in the Community of detergents which contain surface active agents which are on average less than 90 per cent. biodegradable.