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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