Printers in Kerala reap election benefits

The Kerala High Court ruling which prohibits the use of flex and other non-biodegradable materials for campaigning throughout the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections is proving to be a blessing for the state's offset presses. When PrintWeek India visited two major units in Ernakulam both of them were busy printing more than 50,000 election posters for the two major coalitions LDF and UDF on expensive glossy art paper.

20 Mar 2019 | By Sriraam Selvam

The reason other than politicians redefining the cool quotient is the division bench, comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar, who gave an interim order while considering a plea seeking a ban on the use of flex and other ecologically harmful materials for the upcoming polls.

Biju Jose, general secretary of the Kerala Master Printers Association (KMPA) said, "There are more than 4,000 print firms in Kerala as per industry estimates. The KMPA represents more than a hundred of the top firms among these 4,000 units. This year, the firms are producing more than 60% of the election poster orders. Earlier these jobs were printed in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu. Besides providing top quality print on the latest equipment, printers in Kerala offer economical rates plus the transportation charges are negligible."  

Over and above election posters, party pamphlets and leaflets will be printed by Kerala printers. KMPA and Kerala Printers Association have made a representation to the district collectors to ensure the print work remain confined to Kerala.

Plastic-free zone in Thiruvananthapuram

The Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation had imposed a ban on plastic carry bags in 2018. As consumers in Kerala's capital city opted for plastic bag alternatives like paper and cloth bags, the members of the Welfare Association for Visually Challenged (WAVC), based in Vattiyoorkavu have been making eco-friendly bags. These members were manufacturing for the last ten years but they have been busier than ever in the past decade.  

According to a report in the Malayalam newspaper, the charitable society reuses old discarded newspapers to make myriad types of bags/covers like paper carry bags, packets to store medicines, envelopes to X-Ray covers. Around 15 persons spend 4-5 hours every day in the office and each individual creates 15-20 bags.

Two sheets of newspapers and cardboard for the base of the bag is used to make bags that can carry weight from 1 kilo to 5 kilos. The bags are sold at a reasonable rate with their prices ranging from Rs 3 to Rs 15 depending on the size of the bag. On average, each member earns 5,000 per month.