It is well documented that single-use, disposable plastic items pose a threat to our oceans and wildlife. Florida is one of 11 states that currently prohibits local governments from placing bans on plastic bags or foam take-out containers, something known as a “preemptive ban.” Cities that impose such bans run the risk of getting sued, as was demonstrated with the city of Coral Gables when it became the first city in Florida to ban plastic bags. 

On April 30, Florida lawmakers passed HB 771, which expanded this preemptive ban to include single use plastic straws. But on May 10, Gov. DeSantis vetoed the bill, sending the right to prohibit plastic straw use back to local governments.

“A number of Florida municipalities, including Sanibel, Ft. Myers Beach and Miami Beach have enacted ordinances prohibiting single-use plastic straws,” DeSantis wrote in his veto letter. “These measures have not, as far as I can tell, frustrated any state policy or harmed the state’s interests. In fact, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has encouraged Florida residents, schools and businesses to reduce plastic straw use.”

Maia McGuire, UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant agent and founder of the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project, said regardless of what our local ordinances say, we can always do our part to reduce our plastic use.   

Visit the following link to learn about eight steps you can take to reduce your plastic footprint: 8 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste  

Take the pledge to do your part to keep our oceans clean from plastics: