Miami Beach Takes Next Step Toward Becoming a Plastic-Free City

(Miami Beach, FL) Feb 1, 2019 -

Committed to protecting Miami Beach’s unique, natural environment, the City of Miami Beach launched its plastic-free initiative last summer with the adoption of two ordinances, Ordinance 2018-4208 and 2018-4205, prohibiting the use and distribution of single-use plastic bags, straws, and stirrers.

Beginning today, full enforcement of these citywide ordinances goes into full effect. The ordinance and their penalties are as follows:

  • Ordinance 2018-4208 extends the existing single-use plastic straw/stirrers ban from beaches to all city properties, including marinas, parks, piers, docks, boat ramps and sidewalk cafes (as well as contractors and special events permittees). The first offense within a 12-month period is a $100 civil fine, the second $200 and the third violation is $500.

Sidewalk cafés in violation will receive a $500 fine for their first offense and $750 for their second count. The third violation will result in suspension of their sidewalk café permit for one weekend and a $1,000 fine. If a fourth offense is made, their permit will be revoked for the remainder of the permit year and they will be issued a $1,250 fine. A permittee who has been issued more than four violations within a permit year shall be prohibited from applying for and obtaining a sidewalk cafe permit for a period of two permit years.

  • Ordinance 2018-4205 will prohibit the use/distribution of single-use carry out plastic bags on the right of way and to sidewalk café patrons. The penalties for violations of this ordinance are the same as those set above for sidewalk cafés.

Following the enactment of the ordinances last July, the City launched a three-month educational period that ran from August 6, 2018 to October 31, 2018 and another 3-month period for written warnings from November 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019.

“We used a phased-out approach to allow businesses sufficient time to switch over and deplete their inventory,” explained Mayor Dan Gelber. “Our goal with this method was to conduct enough education and outreach for businesses to feel comfortable when the time came to commit to alternative products.”

As part of its educational phase, the City launched a #PlasticFreeMB business program to encourage businesses to voluntarily remove single-use plastics within their operations. The website and program also serves as an educational platform for businesses to learn more about plastic alternatives. As of January 2019, the program has 70 registered Miami Beach businesses.

“As a mission driven brand, we’ve already taken steps to eliminate plastics throughout our properties and raise awareness around the issue to preserve beautiful Miami Beach,” noted 1 Hotel South Beach Vice President Milton Sgarbi. “We’re proud to be a part of the #PlasticFreeMB campaign and work closely with the City of Miami Beach.”

For more information on the citywide initiative, click here.