Number of #PosterFree Towns/Areas:
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Keep Ireland Green
Corri Board Election Posters
Corrugated plastic, commonly known as Corriboard is the material of choice for election posters. Like other single use plastics, they take 400+ years to biodegrade. In the 2014 local elections, 2038 candidates ran for 949 seats. An estimated 611,000 posters were erected with a combined cost of €3M with posters covering the equivalent area of 23 Croke Parks. This produced 366 tonnes of Co2, the equivalent of driving an average car non stop for 592 days. In many areas, these posters were a safety and driving hazard, often obscuring important road signage. After 30 days of canvassing, the majority of these posters were sent to landfill.
Poster Free | Plastic Free
This February 2020 we're calling on all candidates to go poster free (plastic free) during the 2020 General Election. We request candidates to abstain from the use of single use plastics. We encourage candidates to align their green agenda with their actions by going poster free (plastic free).
We ask that Tidy Towns and other environmental organisations support by coordinating with candidates to introduce voluntary bans and poster free zones. In a 2018 Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research poll, 77% of respondents said that they thought the use of posters during election campaigns should be banned. Thanks to collaboration between Tidy Towns, Environmental Groups and Local Councillors, 193 towns/areas around Ireland already have poster free agreements in place.
We want to grow this number with your help.
Is Recycling Corri Board The Solution?
Corri board is recyclable - Resin code 5. However, recycling is not the solution.
Plastic election posters fall under the category of single use plastics, or low multiple use. Single use items, in particular single use plastic, has widely been recognised as a wasteful behaviour and practice by the EU and the general public. So much so, the EU has introduced a directive banning the top 10 single use plastics coming into effect no later than 2021. The EU also has a framework for moving towards a circular economy by 2030.
Recycling: recycling is not the silver bullet to our waste or climate change problems. According to the EU's waste frame work directive, we should 'prevent' and 're-use' before we consider recycling. Even better, we can 'reduce' before recycling. Hence, if an item can easily be 'prevented' from use we should choose this option. If not 'preventable' we check if it's 're-usable' and so on. Thus, we can prevent this waste before it happens. In a nutshell, this policy is providing ways to stop/prevent waste rather than trying to find better ways of cleaning it up (Treating the problem rather than the symptoms/effects).
Even if we resort to recycling, plastic can only be recycled 7-9 times before it is no longer recyclable. Thus, all recycled plastic ends up in landfill or incineration. Let us not forget the precious energy and water required to recycle. The water used becomes waste water at the end of the process that needs to recycled or disposed of. This is why many see recycling as only one step up from sending straight to landfill.
This is why recycling is not the solution, prevention is the solution. Read more here on 'Why Recycling Is Not The Answer'
How To Support
You can support by:
(1) Pledging your support to the campaign, working together makes us stronger.
(2) Signing your name on the change.org #PosterFree support list to #PassOnPlastic.
(3) Sending our #PassOnPlastic email to your local Councillor/TD/MEP.
For a list of all declared candidates visit Adrian Kavanagh's Election site and use the links on the right hand side to find candidates by party.
(4) Contacting your local Tidy Town Committee encouraging them to support this campaign.
(5) Sharing this campaign with your family and friends.
Poster Free Map
Elaine Butler: Blogger & Environmental Campaigner.
Patricia Foran: Editing and Proofreading.
Who's Been Contacted?
"The issue for me is multi-faceted really.
I am firstly a parent; my children will be here long after me and hopefully their children too. If we stay on our present trajectory I would fear for their futures and the future of the environment they will live in! The scientific evidence for me is unquestionable and is proven by the changes we can see all around us in our environment and in our weather. The sickening evidence of marine life being choked by our plastic pollution is something we cannot continue to ignore.
I am a secondary school teacher I have a great love inspiring students to seek out knowledge and make informed choices and decisions. As a woodwork teacher I am very aware of the many advantages offered to us by our natural environment. This year my junior certificate students are conducting a project looking at marine waste, a subject close to my heart. I cannot in all conscience stand in front of my students teaching them about climate change, showing them the negative effecting of deforestation or our waste and then go out in a local election and purchase and erect single use plastic signs for some vain act of self-promotion. If people want to vote for me they will vote for my principals, not my image.
I have been involved with a local coastal rowing club for the past 10 years and we have conducted shoreline clean-ups. I have seen at first hand the devastating effect that plastic pollution is having on our coastal waters and our marine animals. Every year in Donegal town we fill a skip of rubbish collected from the shoreline; this can be anything from medical waste, plastic cup, signs, poster, cable ties etc.
Donegal town is one of the premier seaside destinations in Ireland, if not the world. We are the coolest place on the planet. Tourism is our main source of employment, it growing massively and has massive potential. Just think of the draw and increasing popularity of “The Wild Atlantic Way”. So much of our tourism offering relies on the beautiful landscapes and seascapes we are fortunate to have on our doorstep.
The fragility of our natural environment cannot be underestimated."
"We've reached the tipping point of climate change. The reality is, I'm part of the last generation that can stop climate change. I need to secure a future for myself, for those around me and for future generations.
I decided to take action by campaigning for a poster free election. I want to send a clear message to our representatives: we cannot continue the way we are going. We cannot ignore the issue, it's not going away.
These single use plastic posters are a symptom of a wider problem: our plastic epidemic and throwaway culture. If candidates cannot commit to this small positive change, I am fearful that they will not confront and address climate change issues head on. I hold little faith in a representative who believes that they cannot get elected without using plastic. I will not support such behaviour and I will not stand by while our representatives play God with our future.
The time for standing idly by is over. Both Séamus and I wanted to take action. Together we launched this National Campaign. This is our our way of creating positive change."