Councillors in the Municipal District (MD) of Donegal commended Cllr Seamus Maguire (Ind) on his stance against corrugated plastic posters.
While they supported his call not to use plastic election posters, most said they would still use posters themselves. However, some said they would re-use posters from previous elections.
Cllr Tom Conaghan (Ind) seconded Cllr Maguire's motion for sitting councillors to support a ‘voluntary ban’ of these posters. Cllr Conaghan has already pledged not to use posters, saying he would make a donation to charity instead.
In appealing to his fellow councillors for support for his campaign, Cllr Maguire said: “We sit in this room every month listening to the amount of money the council are spending dealing with human waste, a large portion of this waste is single use plastic that we know as a coastal district unfortunately end up in the sea where our marine life end up being killed.
“The one thing we as sitting councillors and candidates can do to mitigate our waste is to sign up to not become part of the problem. We can prevent this problem rather than attempting to cure it.”
Cllr Maguire’s campaign has already received huge support nationwide.
He pointed out that such posters which are on poles around the country for a mere 30 days take over 400 years to biodegrade.
“We’ve got to ask ourselves ‘Is this the legacy we want to leave behind?’” said Cllr Maguire.
He said that by everyone signing up, it would make a fair playing field for all candidates. The councillor said he believed sitting candidates were in the best position to lead the way as they already had a strong public profile.
He called on his fellow councillors support his motion, thereby doing right by the community and the environment.
Cllr Niamh Kennedy (Ind) said she admired the move but would be using posters she already had in stock. She assured members that these would be reused by community groups and schools after the elections, as had been done in the past.
Cllr Micheal Naughton (FF) commended Cllr Maguire but said that he too would be using posters.
Going a step further Cllr Barry O’Neill (FG) said he fully supported the motion but added that he would like to see an outright ban on all single-use corrugated plastic posters.
Cllr Noel Jordan (SF) said: “We all do our best for the environment. I appreciate responsibility lies with the candidates. The posters I had in the last election will be used again. They will be coming down again as soon as it is over.”
Cllr Maguire commended his fellow councillors for supporting the motion.
But he reminded them: “It is our children and our children’s children and their children and grandchildren that are going to have to deal with this waste.
“We have to think about our legacy.”
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