Traditional light bulbs will not be banned.
17/01/2008

Government Confirms That Traditional Light-Bulbs Won’t be Banned The Government has confirmed that contrary to popular belief, traditional tungsten light bulbs are not going to be banned from 2011. In written answers to questions submitted by the Lord Stoddart of Swindon it emerges that the Government is pursuing the phasing out of the present varieties of tungsten bulbs but not an outright ban. It will still be perfectly legal to manufacture such bulbs but they will have to be more efficient and long lasting. Lord Rooker, Minister of State at Defra also confirmed that the phase out of tungsten bulbs by the Government is on a voluntary basis and that only a few EU countries are following suit. The EU is preparing mandatory minimum standards for lighting products which are ‘unlikely to specify what technology must be used to achieve or better that standard’. There are also no plans to ban the import of tungsten bulbs or their use after 2011. Lord Stoddart, commenting on the Government’s response said: “Given the significant press coverage there has been on this subject indicating that there would be an outright ban, I was surprised by the answers I received. Although the future of tungsten bulbs isn’t quite as bleak as has been depicted by Fleet Street, I remain very concerned at the pressure being placed on the public to use low energy (CFL) light bulbs before any thought has been given to the toxicity of these products and to their safe disposal, not to mention the concerns about the effect this form of lighting may have on people’s health. People with epilepsy and photosensitive skin conditions are particularly vulnerable. “It is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse and amply demonstrates the Government’s foaming at the mouth fervour both on green issues and on anything to do with the EU. Most of the other EU countries are not pursuing the 'bull at a gate approach' of our Government, on the light bulbs issue.” Ends The full text of Lord Stoddart of Swindon’s written questions and the replies from the Government is below: Extract from Hansard Light Bulbs – 16 January 2008 Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether all other countries of the European Union have taken action to phase out the manufacture and supply of tungsten filament light bulbs by the year 2011. [HL1167] The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Only a limited number of EU countries, including France and Ireland, have indicated publicly that they are considering taking action to phase out inefficient light bulbs ahead of proposed collective action within the EU via a proposed implementing measure under the eco-design of energy-using products framework directive (EuP). Via EuP the European Commission is currently working to establish mandatory minimum standards for lighting products which, if agreed by member states, will establish minimum energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. Any standard agreed via this route is unlikely to specify what technology must be used to achieve or better that standard. However, in practice any meaningful standard is likely to result in today's highly inefficient tungsten filament light bulbs being unable to be sold without significant improvements being made. While we do not know the exact timing and scope of the EU's proposals, it is envisaged that a phase-out schedule will be in place by 2009-10, with the phase-out taking place over the following years. Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether after 2011 it will be legal to import tungsten filament light bulbs from the European Union or third countries to the United Kingdom; and [HL1168] Whether it will be an offence for householders or commercial and industrial and public authorities to use tungsten filament light bulbs after 2011. [HL1169] Lord Rooker: The UK is taking forward a voluntary initiative led by retailers and energy suppliers to phase out the availability of inefficient incandescent light bulbs by 2011, where suitable energy efficient alternatives exist. The voluntary nature of this initiative will not render it illegal to import and use tungsten filament bulbs after 2011.

 
 
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