Extinction Rebellion protesters blockaded the SSE power station at Peterhead in Scotland on Thursday 3 June with protestors chained to a green-painted domestic washing machine and gas canisters.

The protest was part of an Extinction Rebellion campaign calling out ‘greenwashing’ in the countdown to the G7 conference in Cornwall on 10 June. The activists are also calling for a ‘Just Transition’ away from a fossil fuel based economy that does not abandon those who would be most affected by that shift.

The group unfurled banners saying ‘Clean Gas is a Dirty Lie’ and hung green clothes on a washing line, alongside slogans such as ‘COP26: Stop the Greenwash’ and ‘Climate Inaction Kills’.

The protest appeared to be effective in its aim to highlight Extinction Rebellion’s climate concerns, garnering a swathe of press coverage, but LCN can’t help feeling it would have been more eye-catching and impressive if they had used a tunnel washer instead of a domestic washer extractor. But wait!

Professional laundry equipment manufacturers are well ahead of the curve in terms of sustainability and are real pioneers in the field in conserving water, fuel and chemical use.

Using professional textile care services rather than washing at home is much better for the environment as the Swedish government has recently acknowledged. Now, Swedish households availing themselves of professional textile cleaning will receive a 25% tax break on this service.

David Stevens, CEO of the UK Textile Services Association (TSA) said: "I think it’s a great scheme to encourage the professional processing of personal laundry and drycleaning.  I would love to think the UK government would consider similar schemes but as we can’t even get them to support the existing commercial laundry operators who, due to the closure of hospitality have seen volumes drop by over 80% I am not too optimistic…..but we will try…and a massive well done to Daniel Kärrholt the Swedish equivalent of the TSA (for this achievement)."

Ken Cupitt of the Guild of Cleaners and Launderers (GCL) added: "Not only will it help to keep in employment many who depend on their livelihood in our sector, but it will be a Government demonstration of its commitment to a greener economy because professional laundering is far more economic in its operation than when done in a domestic situation. Our industry can also demonstrate that our services prolong the life of textiles further proof of helping the green economy.

"Sadly, up until now, our UK Government has failed to recognise the benefits that we bring in terms of employment, and the taxes received from this, hygiene, which is so vital especially now with the current situation, and the benefits we bring in helping to lower our global carbon footprint…. Hopefully, our Government will learn a lesson from this.”

Read the full story on the Swedish tax breaks here

Check out the Extinction Rebellion website here

Photo source: Extinction Rebellion, Mark Richards