Surfrider Foundation seeks to decrease the use of single use plastics, as they are made from fossil fuels and do not biodegrade. Often times, these plastics end up in the ocean where they photo-degrade into smaller pieces, and enter our food chain. Plastics also harm our endangered marine life, such as sea turtles. One of Surfrider Foundation Broward County's campaigns is to pass as many plastic straw ordinances as possible, as straws are over-used, not recyclable, and often end up in our environment.
Last night, Surfrider had two victories in the cities of Deerfield Beach and Hallandale Beach. Both cities passed versions of a plastic straw ban that will go into effect in 2019. Dania Beach is also set to have a final vote on a straw ordinance on September 25th. Surfrider has been in contact with several other cities regarding the use of single use plastic and foam, and they hope to have more victories before the start of the next legislative season.
"The state of Florida has limited our ability to regulate plastic foam, and they have completely taken away home rule on plastic bags and smoking on the beach," says Catherine Uden, Chair of the Surfrider Broward Chapter. "They tried to take away home rule on plastic straws during the last legislative season, but failed. I suspect they may try to do it again. That's why we need to pass as many straw ordinances as possible before we aren't allowed to do it anymore."
The Surfrider Broward Chapter is declaring another victory for this year, convincing the city of Hollywood to enforce a decades old ordinance banning plastics and foam east of the intracoastal waterway. Enforcement of this ordinance will begin on October 1st.
For more information, go to https://www.surfrider.org/programs/rise-above-plastics
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