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Making elections plastic-free

  • Published at 11:00 pm February 24th, 2020
election poster plastic

There must be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to this issue

The Election Commission’s (EC) decision to ban the use of laminated posters in the upcoming Dhaka 10 by-polls is a welcome directive, and a long time coming.

It is also encouraging to see that all the candidates themselves have agreed to abide by the EC’s orders, which also includes assigned places where posters can be hung, instead of having them haphazardly dangling in public spaces, and streets and lanes, obstructing the view.

To that end, what is important -- now that this directive has been issued -- is to ensure its implementation; implementation has often been something that our authorities have historically never been particularly adept at.

It is, therefore, up to the relevant authorities to hold the candidates of the Dhaka 10 by-polls to their word. There must be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to this issue. If they are indeed found to have violated the EC’s orders, then there should be no alternative but to remove them from the ballot.

It is extremely unfortunate that there continues to be a lack of awareness and action when it comes to combating the ill effects of plastic pollution. Plastic continues to wreak havoc on our city, responsible for a variety of problems such as clogged drainage systems, damaged eco-systems, and overall poorer quality of the local environment.

It is even more egregious when our aspiring political leaders, rather than setting a positive example and withhold the use of laminated posters, have usually done the opposite.

The recently held Dhaka mayoral elections were a sad reminder of that fact.

It is time that changed, and about time that our elections were free of plastic pollution.