Please enforce the plastic straw & polystyrene ordinance on Hollywood Beach, Florida
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Hollywood has a brand new mayor, Mayor Josh Levy, and we are excited that he has met with us. We know that he can help us win this campaign. Non-biodegradable, toxic food service materials such as plastic straws, polystyrene cups, and polystyrene take out containers are harmful. Not only are the chemicals toxic for humans, but these items break apart into tiny micro-plastics that remain in the ocean forever. Plastic is consumed by marine life and end up in our food chain. These plastics are made from fossil fuels, so the fewer disposable plastics we use, the better it is for the planet. Many cities are banning these harmful products, so plastic companies have been buying off our state lawmakers.
Last year, Florida passed a polystyrene preemption so that cities could no longer ban polystyrene. Luckily, the city of Hollywood already has an ordinance, which states that any business east of the intracoastal waterway can not dispense non-biodegradable food service products, such as plastic straws, and polystyrene cups and take out containers. So, the city of Hollywood is able to enforce this ordinance because it is grandfathered in. However, the city is not currently enforcing the ordinance. Many businesses are probably unaware this ordinance exists, and are unaware of the environmental importance of this ordinance. The city of Hollywood is a coastal town. We have a beautiful beach, and right off the beach, you can see manatees, sea turtles, dolphins, and manta rays. These animals are harmed by plastic and polystyrene litter. The beach has many restaurants and businesses, and they are not in compliance of this ordinance.
This petition is asking that the city begins immediately making an effort to inform the businesses on the beach about this ordinance, educate them about the importance of the ordinance (Surfrider can assist), and set a date for compliance. Perhaps the city could ask businesses to become plastic straw free in 30 days. Perhaps the timeline could ask them to become polystyrene free in 60 days. This petition is asking for a timeline for enforcement. We are sensitive to the fact that businesses will have to find a vendor that will offer eco-friendly items. There are so many vendors available, and we are happy to assist in finding products. Reusable products are best, and will save businesses money in the long run (including money saved by not giving a straw to every customer). The city of Miami Beach has already begun their enforcement of their plastic straw and polystyrene ordinance, and it is going well. If a customer is given polystyrene, the customer can report the business on the city app, and code enforcement takes care of it. If Miami Beach can enforce this, so can we. Hollywood also has a city app called Help Me Hollywood. We can do this! We love our businesses on the beach, and we hope that they care enough about our beach, our ocean, our marine life, and our planet to make these changes.
Surfrider is dedicated to the protection of our beaches, oceans, and waves, and we would be happy to help educate these business owners. We hope to see the city of Hollywood become the most ocean friendly city in Florida. Every 2nd breath you take is because of our ocean. City of Hollywood, please help save our planet! Thank you for your support!
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