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Two of four Long Range Mountains candidates share party positions on plastic waste

Long Range Mountains candidates Lucas Knill, right, Green Party and Holly Pike, NDP, are seen during Thursday night’s debate on the environment at Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook.
Long Range Mountains candidates Lucas Knill, left, the Green Party, and Holly Pike, NDP, are seen during Thursday night’s debate on the environment at Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook. - Diane Crocker
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

About 55 people turned out at Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook Thursday night to hear what two of the candidates in the Long Range Mountains had to say about the environment.

Holly Pike, NDP, and Lucas Knill, Green Party, were the only two of the five candidates running in the riding to take part in the debate, which was Organized by the Western Environment Centre and the Environmental Policy Institute at Grenfell.

Liberal incumbent Gudie Hutchings was travelling in the riding and Conservative candidate Josh Eisses lives in Halifax. Veterans Coalition Party of Canada candidate Robert Miles was not invited to the debate. The Western Environment Centre said it had only become aware that he was running the day before.

The event was part of the nationally co-ordinated 100 Debates on the Environment Project and the candidates were asked eight questions during the event, four set by the national organizers and four by the local organizers.

Each of the candidates were provided with the questions prior to the event and responded using prepared answers.

One of the questions asked was: What do you think should be done to curb plastic waste and to clean up the enormous amounts of plastic garbage that already exists?

Here’s each candidate’s reply:

Lucas Knill, Green Party

“It’s very sad walking along the beach or a trail and seeing waste or plastic just sitting there.

“The Green Party proposes to implement an extended producer responsibility program, sort of like the one for the ghost nets. To hold manufacturers financially responsible for the wastes that they generate.

“Moving forward that we should require all products to be fully recyclable using readily available processes.

“And we must deal with our own waste and phase out the export of solid waste to other countries.

“The Green Party proposes a plastic lifecycle advisory board with people from all sectors within the lifecycle of plastic, as well as all levels of government.

“By 2022, the Green Party will ban the production, distribution and sale of all unnecessary or non-essential petroleum-based single-use plastics, such as bags, straws, balloons, utensils, cigarette filters.

“The Green Party recommends extending the ban on micro-beads to include household and industrial cleaning products.

“As well as by 2021 requiring all new washing machines sold in Canada to have a removable cleanable filter to capture the micro-fibers.”

Holly Pike, NDP

“Well, some businesses and communities as we know have already made moves on the problem of excessive plastic by no longer providing plastic bags or plastic straws, or by banning other kinds of single-use plastics.

“This is a start, and it encourages us all to be more mindful of our bad habits. Which is also part of curbing plastic waste. If we don’t want the stuff, then there’s no reason for anyone to produce it.

“The NDP will eliminate single-use plastics by 2022 and hold companies responsible for the entire lifecycle of their plastic products and packaging. Because without consistent regulations on packaging that will force manufacturers to deal with the waste created by their own products we can’t hope to achieve zero waste or even low waste.

“We’ll help municipalities improve waste management and recycling programs and work consistently towards a zero-waste future.

“We’ll work with municipalities, and indigenous groups and provincial governments to clean up existing plastic waste in our communities. Recycling that waste wherever it is possible to do so.

“A concerted effort co-ordinated between all levels of government is the only effective way to address the proliferation of plastic in our environment and that’s what we’ll be undertaking.”

diane.crocker@thewesternstar.com

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

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