Earlier this month, city commissioners on Miami Beach extended their city litter laws by now including a ban on plastic straws where fines may range from $50 to $500 if trash is discarded on the beach.
However, before you get hysterical, just keep in mind that officials are targeting more of the beachfront hotels and beachfront restaurants as they are the major contributors to having their patrons discard their straws on the beach and such – which are hard to find, but easy to float off into the ocean and harm wildlife.
So they’re not targeting the local Burger King or the local coffee shop, its more towards preventing the straws from ending up discarded on the sand itself. Here’s what the New Times says:
Sorry sippers, Miami Beach has banned plastic straws from the beach. Yes, to cut down on litter on the beach, the city commission amended an ordinance last week that could result in fines of $50 to $500 over straws. Don’t worry though, the ban is aimed at beachfront hotels who serve drinks with straws, and you’re still free to use straws in whatever legal ways you please. Just make sure you dispose of them properly. The ban is now just waiting for the mayor’s signature.
Local 10 reports that dozens and dozens of straws a day are left behind on the beach. The plastic tubes aren’t biodegradable, and are usually too small to be caught by beach sifters. They also present a threat to marine life if they drift into the ocean.
Though, areas of the beach in front of private condominiums and parks (like the area between Fifth and 15th Streets) tend to be straw-free. The biggest offenders are tourists who order drinks on the beach directly from their hotels. So the commission has reached out to hotels to inform them of the new ban.
“It is a huge burden on our ecological systems. So, people may say this is sort of silly, ‘Big deal, you’re banning straws.’ But at the end of the day, we’re taking a step in the right direction to leave a better world for our children. To make sure our environment, our ecology, is better off for it,” Commissioner Jorge Exposito told Local 10.
Source: Miami New Times