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Campaign banners to be upcycled to bags and wallets

Bags made of banners are seen in this photo. (Seoul Metropolitan Government)
Bags made of banners are seen in this photo. (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Campaign banners used for the June 1 local elections will be reborn as products such as bags and wallets according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Tuesday that it will promote a recycling project in cooperation with Seoul districts and Seoul Upcycling Plaza to reuse the campaign banners as materials for everyday products.

Campaign banners used in elections are usually thrown away or burnt, causing environmental issues. They are normally made of synthetic plastic fibers, producing a large number of harmful substances, such as greenhouse gases and carcinogens, when incinerated.

About 90 percent of banners, used for the March 9 presidential election, for instance, were disposed of in landfills or incinerated, according to the city government. Less than 10 percent were recycled as shopping sacks or sandbags due to issues of storage and recycling costs.

Campaign banners are piled up in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul, a day after the June 1 local elections. (Yonhap)
Campaign banners are piled up in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul, a day after the June 1 local elections. (Yonhap)

The city government estimates about 17,000 to 20,000 banners have been thrown away after the June elections, weighing up to 12 tons.

The Seoul officials said they are currently collecting the banners to be washed and dried within several months.

A total of 11 out of 25 Seoul districts, including Jung-gu, Yongsan-gu, and Seocho-gu, have expressed their intention to participate in this upcycling project.

“We will continue to cooperate and seek ways to reuse waste as new resources, and thereby achieving carbon neutrality in everyday lives,” said Yoo Yeon-sik, director general at Climate and Environment Headquarters of the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

By Hwang Dong-Hee (hwangdh@heraldcorp.com)
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