plastic straws

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Forty-five million.

That’s how many plastic straws Miami-Dade County Public Schools was sending to landfills every school year, according to estimates by administrators.

This school year, that number is zero.

Starting last August, the district eliminated plastic straws from the utensil packets distributed during breakfasts, lunches and after-school meals. Now, students get sporks and napkins, and those who need straws can ask for the paper variety.

Group Criticizes Trend To Limit Local Power

Jan 6, 2020
MARCO VERCH / FLICKR COMMONS

TALLAHASSEE — A Tallahassee research group wants state lawmakers to temper a trend of tying the hands of city and county officials by “preempting” local regulations.

The non-profit group Integrity Florida issued a report Monday raising concerns that lawmakers, with the backing of powerful lobbying groups, are strategically attacking home-rule authority on issues ranging from sunscreen bans to regulating businesses.

Plastic Straw Ban Heads To The Florida Legislature Once More

Aug 5, 2019
MARCO VERCH / FLICKR COMMONS

A fight over disposable straws could return to the state Legislature, even after Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year vetoed a bill that would have blocked local governments from banning plastic straws.

A measure (SB 40) filed Friday by Sen. Kevin Rader, a Delray Beach Democrat, would take the opposite approach, by prohibiting the use of plastic straws and plastic “carryout” bags statewide. Rader’s plan would allow single-use straws made from nonplastic materials, such as “paper, pasta, sugarcane, wood, or bamboo.”

DeSantis Vetoes Bill On Plastic Straw Bans

May 13, 2019

In his first veto, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday rejected a bill that would have blocked local governments from banning plastic straws.

DAVE DOEBLER

Beach-goers across the state of Florida largely agree that there’s far too much plastic in the waterways.

So why would the state want to pass legislation to stop local authorities from banning plastic straws?

Samantha Padgett, an attorney for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said Friday on The Florida Roundup that local bans burden consumers and the hospitality industry and are “not a long-term sustainable solution.”

RAJANISH KAKADE / AP VIA MIAMI HERALD

From toothbrushes, to water bottles, to straws, plastics are a part of everyday life. And yet the damage they cause to oceans and wildlife is well established. 

Controversy Swirls Around Straws And Sunscreen

Mar 4, 2019

What started out as an effort to prevent local governments from regulating the distribution of plastic straws morphed Monday into a push for a study on the issue, lumped in with an attempt to prohibit cities and counties from banning certain sunscreens.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Florida Retail Association and Disability Rights Florida are among the groups supporting the study on straws.

A number of environmental groups opposing the proposal (SB 588) argue that studies already show plastic and certain sunscreens are detrimental to the environment.

MARCO VERCH / FLICKR COMMONS

Delray Beach commissioners voted Tuesday to ban single-use plastic straws in restaurants by mid-2020.

The city is the first in Palm Beach County to pass this kind of ordinance.

Competing bills that concern regulating plastic straws and bags have also reached the state Legislature.

plastic straws
Fairywren/Flickr Creative Commons

Local governments wouldn’t be able to regulate single-use plastic straws under a measure filed Thursday in the House.

The proposal (HB 603) by Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, says “a municipality, county, or other local governmental entity may not adopt, enforce, or implement any ordinance, rule, or law that would further restrict a food service establishment from distributing single-use plastic straws to customers.”

The Seminole Tribe of Florida plans to eliminate plastic straws at its six casinos in the state.

plastic straws
Fairywren/Flickr Creative Commons

Updated August 2, 2018, 11 a.m.

An ordinance banning the sale and distribution of plastic straws in Hallandale Beach as well as their use on the public beach passed with a unanimous vote of five to zero at the Wednesday night city commission meeting, which spilled over into early  Thursday morning. 

It is expected to take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.