St. Petersburg will vote to regulate plastic straws and polystyrene containers

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plastic plastics straw ban
Ban straws sign. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (10 April 2018).

As soon as next Thursday St. Petersburg City Council will vote to regulate single-use plastics; council will consider an outright ban on all plastic straws in restaurants, with an exception for people who have a medical necessity and it will also vote on a ban on polystyrene containers on public property.

WMNF News interviewed Brian Bailey with I Love the Burg.

No Straws St. Pete logo plastic plastics“As I understand it there’s a lot of things being discussed. There’s been a lot of talk about moving away from the voluntary situation where businesses are only serving straws upon request and moving toward a full ban. There’s obvious implications there.

“There are a lot of businesses, such as coffee shops and bars and restaurants that serve drinks and whatnot that require a straw. Obviously those within the community with disabilities that need — have a necessity — for straws. I believe there’s considerations being taken for that.

plastic straw ban
Jennifer Winn holds plastics during a trash cleanup with Stetson Law students in March, 2018. Photo courtesy Vanessa Moore.

“I understand that sometimes it creates a little bit of a burden. Any sort of ban can create a burden on a business, which is just trying to — when you’re in a low-margin business and you’re just trying to make it work every day it’s a little difficult to have to stop everything and to comply towards a ban.

“So, I do feel a little bit of sympathy towards those businesses that have to go through that. But at the same time, through the No Straws program it’s been really kind of interesting how we’ve seen people really take to the idea of  not using a straw in their drink. Some of our restaurants that have been part of our program since we launched it in April are reporting over a 90% decrease in plastic straw usage.

“So, it’s not impossible. It just helps if there’s a little time for everybody to have a little education and ability to deal with it. And I’m sure the Council is going to look at that.”

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