Enough Election Posters to Cover Croke Park 23 Times Over

Traditional postering methods may become a trend of the past as environmental pressures and statistics are being ramped up and pumped out ahead of the May 24th local and European elections. The pole in the compilation looks like it has seen it all. Given the chronological spacing of elections and two felt nails per poster – it could well have held some Éamon de Valera presidential election posters in its time. ©Photographs: John Reidy

The following is the content of an email sent from Donegal County Councillor, Seamus Maguire and David Weitbrecht of the group, ZeroWaste.ie and they’re out there batting on behalf of PosterFree.ie.

Democracy Disrespected

Given the expense of postering and the lack of respect shown to posters and to democracy itself in recent elections – as in the examples here – will candidates really miss the way we were.

Local and European Elections

“You are most likely aware of the Local and European elections happening this May.

These coming months, we are asking your newspaper to report and cover our campaign, which is calling on all candidates to avoid the use of single use plastics this election by running a poster free campaign, adopting alternative advertising/marketing mediums instead.

Plastics and Climate Change

With single use plastics and climate change in both the national and European media spotlight, this is a great opportunity to cover an environmental campaign where candidates are asked to show their commitment to the environment by aligning their actions with their green agenda/policy.

Corrugated plastic, commonly known as Corriboard is the material of choice for election posters.

400+ Years to Biodegrade

Like other single use plastics, they take 400+ years to biodegrade. In the 2014 local elections, 2038 candidates ran for 765 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.

Safety and Driving Hazard

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.

The negative environmental impact of these posters will be exacerbated by the concurrent European elections and the substantial number of local positions to be filled – 949 seats.

We are encouraging all candidates to communicate and cooperate with other candidates in their electoral area to establish a voluntary poster ban.

Co-ordination of Candidates

We ask you to report on the future coordination of candidates, Tidy Town committees and environmental groups as they make a poster free election a reality.

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.

Poster Free Agreements

Thanks to collaboration between Tidy Towns, environmental groups and local councillors, nine areas around Ireland already have poster free agreements in place.

This positive reception to poster free zones and decisive survey results reflect the public’s growing environmental interest and appetite for a poster free election.

Social Media Channels

For live campaign updates follow us on our social media channels.

Note: A variation of this letter has been distributed to 868 local councilors, 350 Tidy Towns, 158 TDs, 66 newspapers, 60 senators, 45 radio stations, 40 environmental groups and 11 MEPs.”

For further information and to pledge your support to the campaign they invite you to visit their site with a click on the live link here: www.posterfree.ie

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