Miami Beach Strengthens its Litter Laws & Prohibited Use of Single-Use Plastic Straws

(Miami Beach, FL) Feb 14, 2019 -

As an environmental leader, the City Commission passed a resolution opposing Florida Senate Bill 588 and Florida House Bill 603 that would preempt the regulation of single-use straws in the State of Florida. This bill would authorize food service establishments to be able to distribute a single-use plastic straw to a customer upon request, including making single-use plastic straws available to customers through a self-serve straw dispenser.

“We stand firm in our commitment to be plastic free; these proposed state bills would set us back in our efforts,” stated Vice-Mayor Michael Góngora. “Local governments need to have the power to properly and comprehensively address the concerns posed by single-use plastic straws.”

On July 25, 2018, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibited single-use plastic beverage straws and stirrers on the City’s beaches, streets, parks, sidewalk cafes, docks, marinas, waterways and other public places, as well as banning single-use plastic bags from being distributed by sidewalk cafes.

“Our goal is to significantly reduce the amount of litter on land and in our water,” added Mayor Dan Gelber. “We look to continue to support the importance of reducing our dependency on single-use plastic by switching to sustainable materials and reusable products.”

Plastic straws are a non-biodegradable and non-recyclable source of litter that pose a hazard to birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife, and they are not able to be effectively removed from beaches by sand sifting and cleaning equipment.