Eco-labelling

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1992.

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Photo of Mr Andrew Bennett Mr Andrew Bennett , Denton and Reddish 12:00 am, 17th June 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the introduction of eco-labels—green labels.

Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Minister (Department of Environment) (Environment and Countryside)

The United Kingdom has strongly supported the development of the European eco-labelling scheme, so I am delighted that the EC regulation is now in place and that arrangements are progressing for launching the scheme towards the end of the year. We shall continue to press the Commission and the other member states to ensure that this timetable is met.

Photo of Mr Andrew Bennett Mr Andrew Bennett , Denton and Reddish

Will the Minister confirm his green credentials by telling us which washing-up liquid he uses? Will he also confirm that some of the other EC states are still dragging their feet in regard to eco-labelling, and that it would have been far better for this country to go ahead on its own?

Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Minister (Department of Environment) (Environment and Countryside)

I shall come clean in a moment.

The hon. Gentleman fails to grasp the point that if we are to make any real environmental progress, we must do so in concert with other nations. We have a free trading area in Europe, where goods and products are moved around the Community. Without a Europewide ecolabelling scheme—which is now within our grasp—that arrangement would not be as effective as it should be.

In answer to the hon. Gentleman's first question, I believe in being a liberated husband and sharing the household duties; unfortunately, however, washing up is not the duty that has been allocated to me.