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Green Campaigning Keeps Kerala Politicians on Toes for Eco-friendly Alternatives

While the political parties might rack their brains to find the alternatives, the market has a range of options.

Meera Manu | News18

Updated:March 12, 2019, 4:35 PM IST
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Green Campaigning Keeps Kerala Politicians on Toes for Eco-friendly Alternatives
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Thiruvananthapuram: The political parties in Kerala are grappling to look for pocket-friendly campaigning after the High Court directed to adhere to eco-friendly measures for election campaigns and to avoid non-biodegradable banners and hoardings.

Earlier, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had discouraged the use of non-biodegradable materials like Polyvinyl Chloride for electioneering.

The order came on a petition filed by BS Syamkumar from Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram who sought usage of eco-friendly materials for campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

While the political parties might rack their brains to find the alternatives, the market has a range of options.

The cost for per square feet for common flex material ranges between Rs 12-15, whereas paper flex prices begin from Rs 15. Printing on paper and cloth are therefore, less likely to be preferred. Polyester and silk prints come for Rs 25-60 per square feet.

A much durable and affordable starch paper printing, that assures users a run for their money, is likely to go up on the popularity chart. The paper is an amalgam of cotton thread and starch extracts from corn and tapioca. It decomposes fast and burning is safer for the environment.

In February, district collector in Thiruvananthapuram, K Vasuki, who spearheaded the Green Protocol initiative in the state under the aegis of Suchitwa Mission, had hinted about directing the parties to go for green campaigning. Her suggestion included cotton material and a comparatively harmless polythene. Polythene goes into the making of several things ranging from grocery bags to bullet proof vests.

Green activists suggest it is time for the political parties to act more responsibly to make the best out of this opportunity.

“We used to campaign on palm leaves for our college elections. Those age-old techniques can be revived. Let’s go minimal, say for instance, putting up 50 posters instead of 100. Many people are active on social media. The politicians should realise that these tool ensure better public interaction to fetch more number of votes than screaming posters. They can go out and speak than sticking to archaic ways,” says Sreedhar R, programme director of Thanal, an NGO spearheading eco-friendly initiatives in Kerala.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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