In the run-up to the general elections this year, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued an advisory to the chief secretaries and chief electoral officers across the country to discourage single-use plastic during poll campaigning.
“A lot of campaigning material, including posters, cut-outs, hoardings, banners, political advertisements, etc., is made of plastic. After elections, the campaigning materials are discarded and become waste,” an official spokesperson here said quoting an advisory.
Such waste generated during campaigning does not get collected and causes choking of drainage and river systems, ingestion by stray animals, land and water pollution, open-air burning, etc., leading to adverse impact on human health and environment, the advisory pointed out.
“Some of these plastics are Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) based which produces toxic emissions on burning,” it added.
A number of alternate options are available to use plastic in campaigning material such as compostable plastics, natural fabrics, recycled paper material, etc., which have lesser environmental impact, the advisory said. “Such materials need to be promoted as a sustainable and environmentally sound management practice,” it added.
The advisory said that the upcoming general elections present an excellent opportunity to introduce a behavioral change in election campaigning and promote sustainable practices.