Student Led Movement to Reverse Florida Ban on Plastic Bag Bans is Making Progress!
A state law in Florida prohibits cities and municipalities from implementing plastic bag bans. A group of seventh- and eighth-graders is looking to change this law.
Students from The Benjamin School, a private school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, asked county officials to support plastic bag bans in local stores.
After hearing the student’s presentation the officials agreed and will look into the possibility of implementing a ban, which could be a game changer in Florida.
Details of Plastic Bag Bans in Florida
A bill making the rounds in the state Legislature would allow coastal communities with fewer than 100,000 people to create a pilot program to regulate either through bans or fees single-use plastic bags.
This does limit the municipalities that can pass a measure, but it is a start and could pave the way for a more inclusive change in the law.
Environmental Concerns Reason Behind Interest in Plastic Bag Bans
Disposable plastic bags are an environmental burden. The thin plastic film is made from natural gas and petroleum, both of which are nonrenewable resources. Single-use plastic bags are in fact recyclable, but recycling rates are very low.
The majority of plastic bags handed out end up in landfills or as litter. Both of these outcomes pose environmental threats. Discarded plastic bags litter waterways and are a serious risk to marine animals and their habitats.
"By banning plastic bags from retailers, Palm Beach County takes a leadership role in protecting these defenseless marine animals,” said student Madeline Hart.
Regulating or eliminating disposable plastic bags makes it possible to reallocate the resources used to make the bags for other purposes, and it also reduces the amount of bags thrown away or littering communities and the ocean.
Banning Bags in the Sunshine State May Become a Reality
To date over 30 Florida communities have expressed support for the bill. This is close to our heart as we are close to Palm Beach County and located in Broward County in Coral Springs. We have tracked plastic bag bans for years and fully throw our support behind the movement.
The work these students are doing means we may someday soon be able to add cities and communities in Florida to our map with green pins.
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