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Front Page » Government » Coral Gables to fight for right to ban Styrofoam

Coral Gables to fight for right to ban Styrofoam

Written by on August 27, 2019
Coral Gables to fight for right to ban Styrofoam

The Coral Gables City Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to appeal a recent Third District Court of Appeal decision slapping down the city’s ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastics in retail establishments.

The commission also asked the Florida Legislature to repeal statutes that would inhibit local governments’ ability to regulate polystyrene or single-use plastic bags, and for Gov. Ron DeSantis to step in, as he did when vetoed a law that would have prohibited bans on plastic straws.

“This is a big issue, but the bigger issue is the assault on our home rule charter,” said Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli.

In March 2016, the Legislature passed a law prohibiting any municipality from regulating Styrofoam or other packaging materials, including plastic bags, if its ordinance was passed after Jan. 1, 2016. Miami Beach and several other cities, which passed bans earlier, were carved out of the legislation. Coral Gables passed its ban in early 2016.

The Florida Retail Federation sued to challenge the ban, which a local court upheld but was struck down on appeal.

“This should be our decision,” said Miriam Ramos, city attorney. She read a portion of the governor’s veto message, which might indicate his support for local rule.

“A number of Florida municipalities… have enacted ordinances prohibiting single-use plastic straws. These measures have not, as far as I can tell… harmed the state’s interests,” The governor said. “Under these circumstances, the state should simply allow local communities to address this issue through the political process.”

Coral Gables was one of the first Florida cities to ban Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags, said Vice Mayor Vince Lago, who sponsored the original legislation. “We’re accountable, and many other cities followed in our footsteps.”

“Weekly, I get many calls and emails from cities that want to support us in this,” Ms. Ramos said.

4 Responses to Coral Gables to fight for right to ban Styrofoam

  1. Jai Magner Koch

    August 28, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    It is extremely disappointing that Publix and the Retail Federation have chosen to fight the single use plastic bans and styrofoam bans. I am boycotting Publix as a result of this. Is there a way that municipalities such as Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Surfside, Bal Harbour, North Bay Village, and Gainseville can pool resources to fight the retail lobby and Publix on this?

  2. Luca Lionello

    August 28, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    So let’s start a petition to Publix and flood their email boxes. Let’s fight back. Make it a question of image and bad reputation for them.

  3. Raul Mas

    September 4, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    With three attorneys on the Coral Gables Commission, I’m starting to think they believe they are a law firm hired to tilt at windmills. Coral Gables residents would do well to ask about the legal fees being incurred in this and other legal battles. I’ve seen a small portion of them…and I shudder to think what the rest of the invoices look like. These are real taxpayer dollars being spent; money that could go to pay for needed municipal services. Miami Today might want to do a public records request and find out exactly how much money the CG Commission has been spending on legal fees in recent years.

  4. Karina

    September 4, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    As an environmentally conscious consumer, i take reusable bags to the store or ask for paper.

    If you don’t like the practices of a store, don’t shop there. Consumer is king in retail.