Independent goes green for election signage

North-Sydney business John Fisher Printing has printed recyclable election boards for independent candidate Huw Kingston, running in the seat of Hume, using Swedish-made Oppboga board.

In an election campaign which has seen ‘Australia first’ materials from mining magnate Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party printed in China, and a local council buying Chinese-printed ‘Lest We Forgot’ Anzac Day materials, the positive use of print to promote a candidate’s election message is standing out.

Huw Kingston is campaigning on an environmental basis, and says that politicians should put their money where their mouths are. And to show he, for one, is serious about the environment he is doing away with the usual plastic advertising signs and using recyclable waterproof cardboard instead.

He says, “I tracked down this board made in Sweden, called Oppboga. The waterproof outdoor board is named after the Swedish town where it is manufactured. It is made from paper and a biodegradable waterproofing agent.”

Kingston has spent two decades campaigning against single-use plastics and says his conscience would not allow him to put his face up on a plastic board.

“The Oppbogas will last as long as the Federal election campaign, then they can go straight into the recycling bin.”

Every election hundreds of thousands of plastic corflutes, which are cheaper to produce, go up in suburbs, towns and along country roads throughout the nation. While technically possible to recycle, plastic corflutes require specialty facilities in Australia to handle, and a certain volume to be accepted.

Starleaton import the Oppboga boards in Australia, and product manager John Buitenkamp says he had tried to interest the major political parties in the product but so far none had taken it up, as the boards are more expensive than the plastic corflute equivalents.

The material is used extensively for signage in the UK and has been available in Australia for two years. Kingston has ordered over 400 of the boards and hopes his example will be followed by other aspiring MPs in elections to come.

He is campaigning on the slogan ‘There’s a climate for change’ and this is one change he would like to see, regardless of who wins the election. Additionally the Huw4Hume campaign team wear organic, sweatshop free T shirts and the vast majority of printing is done on FSC certified recycled paper.

Kingston says, “People now take environmental concerns very seriously, and so should our politicians.”

Kingston is running against the incumbent Liberal, Angus Taylor, who is currently under intense media scrutiny around an $80m water deal delivered to a company based in the Cayman Islands, which he was previously involved in.


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2 thoughts on “Independent goes green for election signage

  1. It’s wonderful that other printers are finally starting to offer political candidates environmentally sustainable methods of producing election material.
    Since September 2010, the Victorian branch of the ALP and Kosdown Printing have been producing corflutes for State and Federal elections using a closed-loop recycling system.
    Using recycled material, manufactured by Corex in Dandenong, most corflutes carry a PP5 identifier with a text line about returning to Kosdown Printing for recycling. At the end of use, campaigns either drop them back to us in Port Melbourne or one of our drivers collects them. Eyelets are cut off before Corex collects them for shredding and reprocessing as new sheets of corflute.
    Ongoing, all of Kosdown’s corflute offcuts are returned in a Corex supplied recycling container, saving thousands of tons of material from going into landfill each year.
    Corex are a touch closer to Port Melbourne than Oppboga Sweden, so we also love the lack of carbon miles that a product made and recycled in Dandenong provides!

  2. I agree with Sandra D, here at John Fisher Printing have also been offering the Corflute recycling system for some years & have the large recylable bins & collections for offcut polypropylene waste & returns, it is a good programme with Corex & shows the path of Sustainability for political parties. In saying this, political parties who run their electoral platforms on ‘Re-usables’ & ‘Carbon Emissions targets’, the Oppboga product can easily go into local council recycling processes, & the offcuts processed through your regular printing industry recycled collections.The Oppboga paper board is a good option for people looking for a ‘life cycle product’ which has good environmental credentials, that meets the sustainability criteria. If you are talking reduction of ‘Carbon emissions’ & taking Carbon out of the equation, the Oppboga product has already locked away the ‘C'(carbon) out of the CO2, in its life cycle & this will continue to occur, the more production swings back towards paper & boards,rather than plastics in general.

    It always comes down to cost which is why the Corflute product has been so resilient. The gap is closing, but come next election, hopefully from these slow beginnings, & from the stance taken by the independent member for Hume, there will be a conscious effort to improve the message & get more political parties & printers on ‘board’, whichever way they choose to go.

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