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Monday, October 20, 2008

Environment Chat: Traditional lightbulbs to be banned in EU from 2010

Environment Chat: Traditional lightbulbs to be banned in EU from 2010

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Traditional lightbulbs to be banned in EU from 2010

The Telegraph reports that EU energy ministers have agreed to phase out high energy filament bulbs in order to improve energy efficiency and meet climate change targets for all its 500 million citizens by 2010. The Telegraph reports that "traditional light bulbs are around 38p compared to £1.38 for the cheapest low energy models and campaigners have complained about affordability, as well as the cost of having to adapt fittings for the new bulbs." Current filament light bulbs use up to five times as much energy as efficient lights such as "compact fluorescent lamps" (CFLs). However regulation will also require Councils to dispose of the lamps. There have been also been concerns raised over low energy bulbs that they can cause headaches, rashes and even sunburn. If the bulbs break the toxic mercury inside can cause migraine and dizziness. Mercury also presents a problem for disposal.

It has been suggested that the degree of saving could be equivalent to 30 million tonnes of CO2 pollution every year.

One million metric tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to:

  • 216,000 passenger cars not driven for one year;
  • 110,000 trips around the world in a standard car;
  • 2.3 million barrels of oil;
  • 13,400 tanker trucks of fuel;
  • 26,000,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years;
  • 833,000 acres of pine or fir forests absorbing CO2 for one year;
  • 556,000 tons of waste being recycled instead of going to a landfill;


We need to ensure though that we do not save environmentally on the one hand, but then further pollute on the other.


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