The UK’s National Association of the Launderette Industry (Nali) is organising nationwide protests against the government’s Climate Change Levy (CCL). Nali says it could put 20p (30 cents US) on the cost of each wash load. As washing clothes and linen is essential to personal hygiene, the levy is a tax on public health. Posters and petitions are being organised throughout the premises owned by Nali members.

Businesses will pay the levy through their utilities bills.

It is applied at different rates, depending on the energy content of the source. Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is rated at 0.07 p/kWh, gas, coal, lignite and coke at 0.15 p/kWh and electricity at 0.43 p/kWh.

The UK government says that by reducing energy consumption, companies will save money, minimise the impact of the tax and the country will see emission levels fall. It expects to achieve savings of 5 million tonnes of carbon per year by 2010. Revenues collected from the levy will be recycled to businesses through a reduction of 0.3% in the employers’ National Insurance Contributions and will provide financial support to develop energy efficiency measures.