Irish Lamp Recycling managing director John Cuddy said: “Energy saving light bulbs are also called CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps). As such, they operate in the same way as ordinary fluorescent tubes, they are just a different shape.

“If a CFL breaks in the home, the householder should open the window in the room for fifteen minutes and carefully sweep up the broken glass. The broken glass should be placed in a double-lined, strong plastic bag and brought to the local Civic Amenity Site, where it should be placed in the container with other fluorescent lamps.”

Earlier this month the Irish Environment Minister, John Gormley, received support from the European Commission regarding plans to introduce a minimum energy efficiency for light bulbs from early 2009.

EC vice president Gunter Verheugen said that Ireland’s initiative had spurred the Commission on to accelerate its own similar regulation.

Ben Meggeson

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie