Florida Plastic Bans


Florida’s coastline is home to many beaches and resorts, drawing millions of tourists annually. Like many places worldwide, it’s suffering from the effects of plastic pollution. Lawmakers passed a statewide preemption bill in 2008 that extinguished local governments’ power to regulate, ban, tax, or limit single-use plastics, which some residents and municipalities have tried to reverse or circumvent.

Learn why single-use plastics are so harmful and how cities in Florida enact their plastic bans. 

How Are Single-Use Plastics Harmful?

Disposable plastics include takeout containers, food packaging, straws, and plastic bags. We use these items for a few minutes, and then they find their way into our environment—and human bodies.

These plastics cannot degrade naturally in the environment, harming land and ocean wildlife. Microplastics, which form by breaking away from bigger pieces, find their way into the food chain and can cause harm if animals or humans ingest them. 

What Are Florida’s Plastic Regulations?

Despite the 2008 bill, some plastic reduction measures are in effect in Florida. A few Floridian cities have plastic straw and bag regulations, and local environmental groups and municipalities are working on initiatives to keep plastic out of the land, rivers, and springs. Plastic Free 305 is one initiative that includes regulations for cities and statewide.

State

Currently, there are no single-use plastic regulations at Florida’s state level. Instead, preemption laws prevent local governments from banning or reducing plastic waste. In previous years, lawmakers tried to repeal these preemption laws to give the power back to local governments.

City

Some cities, such as Miami Beach and Gainesville, have succeeded in enacting some regulations despite Florida’s preemption law against local plastic bag bans. Plastic utensils and straws are two items that preemption laws don’t cover and that cities can prohibit from sale and distribution. Furthermore, cities can ban other single-use plastics like polystyrene, bags, and containers on public property. City buildings, beaches, and events can prohibit the sale of these items.

Another way cities circumvent preemption laws is by banning other items, such as containers, polystyrene foam, and bags, on public property only—such as city buildings, parks, beaches, and during city events. Cities can also pass administrative policies surrounding purchasing, events, concessions, vendors, and special permits. These methods help Floridian cities mirror towns like Santa Monica’s plastic regulations. 

How Greenprint Can Help

Greenprint offers a solution to meeting plastic regulations. Our mission is to create a sustainable ecosystem in the disposables industry. We offer internationally certified plant-based disposables, such as agave straws and cutlery, that degrade naturally and abide by legislation regulating plastics. We offer restaurants the solution they need to follow regulations, help the environment, and avoid unnecessary fines. 

Schedule an Appointment Today

Want to purchase environmentally friendly single-use products for your restaurant? You can get in touch with our team to learn more.

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