Thursday, June 9, 2016

Miami-Dade county, Florida, bans polystyrene products from parks

Miami-Dade county, Florida, bans polystyrene products from parks

Concerns raised about Cuban coffee and picnic coolers gain no traction.
June 8, 2016
Recycling Today Staff
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An article in the Miami Herald has reported that an ordinance passed in Miami-Dade County, Florida, will ban all polystyrene products, including coolers, cups and plates, from public parks. 
The ban, which will take effect July, 1, 2017, reflects similar restrictions passed by other local Florida legislatures, including Miami Beach and Key Biscayne. 

According to the Herald, while the proposed ordinance received only one dissenting vote, some concern was expressed that the ban does not account for the need for disposable cups to serve Miami’s signature Cuban coffee.

“In Miami-Dade County, we drink a lot of coffee,” the paper quotes Commissioner Rebecca Sosa. “The only way we can drink the Cuban coffee, the colada, is with a crystal cup or Styrofoam.” 

The bill’s sponsor, Danielle Levine Cava, met this objection by saying paper cups would be sufficient. Commissioner Sally Heyman also expressed concern that coolers be exempt because of their usefulness, pointing out that they would be easier to spot on the ground than a discarded cup. 

The paper reports that Commissioner Javier Souto, who voted against the ordinance, objected that local businesses would not be able to sell their remaining polystyrene stock in a county that forbade their use in public parks and beaches.

“You have a store,” Souto said. “You have a hundred coolers there. We pass this. You swallow that loss? Any way to give them a break?” 

The Herald says although no changes were made to accommodate the commissioners, the Parks Department will report on implementation details later this summer. 

Levine Cava also made concessions about the heftiness of fines for offenders, dropping it from $100 to $50 per offence and eliminating a higher fine for repeat offenders. 

“The intent here is not to collect money,” Levine Cava told the paper. “But to have compliance. 

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