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City council passes ban on plastic straws

September 14, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

In the near future, if you order a drink on Sanibel, you will have to drink it with something other than a plastic straw.

The Sanibel City Council on Sept. 10 unanimously passed a ban on the sale and distribution of plastic straws, following the example that several other municipalities are enforcing or seriously considering.

The ordinance is a quality of life issue and meant primarily toward businesses, since plastic straws left on the beaches are a danger to marine life and never degrade. It is one members of the community have supported and are already finding alternatives for.

Article Photos

Jason Maughan

Vice Mayor Mick Denham believed that plastic straws is not enough, saying that a plastic bag ban should also be considered as it has been in other cities.

Councilmember Jason Maughan, who has been the chief supporter of the ordinance, said it will come in due time.

"If we go for everything all at once, nothing gets done. There is support for a plastic bag ban, but let's move with it individually," he said. "Let's nail this one down."

Maughan said many in town have already jettisoned plastic straws with stainless steel or cardboard ones, just as many have eschewed plastic bags for reusable ones.

About the only concern with the ordinance is that it could be considered an issue regarding the Americans With Disabilities Act. The ordinance will have an exception pertaining to that.

Maughan said plastic straws are meant as a code enforcement issue.

"If you're caught in your home with a plastic straw, you won't be drug out in the street," he said.

For the next 120 days, the city will engage in public education efforts to inform businesses of the law and provide alternatives to plastic.

After 120 days, the first offense is a written warning. A second offense within a one-year period will result in a $50 fine, a third offense is $200, and a fourth and subsequent offenses are $500.

The ban is not directed at private residents, though many have supported the ban and gone to biodegradable straws. Bailey's General Store has already phased out plastic, as have several other businesses that deal with food.

In July, Seattle became the first major city to issue a ban, along with Santa Barbara and Malibu, California, and a growing number of cities, many in California.

Locally, Fort Myers Beach has a ban in place, as does Marco Island and Miami Beach.

 
 

 

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