We got a tip a while back that washing machine sales in the UK are set to break the three million units barrier this year which is more than double the amount sold in 2004/5.
Now let’s give you all a minute to let that sink in.
Okay, you thought about it, moving on…
Now we, the WTA and other people that actually give a monkey about the environment are often accused of being “down” on the industry as, after all if all the manufacturers are flogging more cheap white boxes it’s all good isn’t it?
Well, no it really isn’t.
What this would seem to indicate is that the UK is throwing out double the amount of washing machines that it was little over a decade ago and, that’s not good, not good at all.
It’s not good for the environment, it’s not good for consumer’s wallets, it’s not good for the spare parts industry and it’s not good for repairers at all.
In fact about the only people that benefit are HMRC in tax revenue and manufacturers who sell every increasing numbers of cheap machines. Great eh?
Great for companies declaring their best ever whatever period’s sales but for us, for the environment it’s a disaster.
What does this really mean for the poor UK washing machine punters, well it means that UK consumers are forking out an additional £300 million a year and dumping about an additional 60 million kilos of waste. Thats’ lot of cash and a lot of waste, an awful lot!
Despite manufacturers claiming to be “green and eco-friendly” the reality is the exact opposite, producing and punting more stuff than ever and causing more and more to go into the waste steam which eclipses any energy savings in use they harp on about in marketing by a huge margin we expect.
All the while making repairs ever increasingly harder by adopting the use of sealed (unrepairable) units, ever higher parts pricing and in many cases restricting access to essential service information, a practice outlawed in the car industry.
When people ask why we’re so “down” on the industry, is it really any wonder, we don’t exactly have a lot to be happy about but makers selling ever more probably do.
Like the polar bears, we ain't happy about it. Far as we're concerned it's a total failure of the industry to step up to the real challenges of cutting waste, not adding to the problem.