St. Petersburg makes waves with action to reduce plastic pollution

A Florida city just told two forms of plastic pollution to get out of town.

On Dec. 13, the St. Petersburg City Council voted to pass an ordinance that will reduce the use of single-use plastic straws and polystyrene containers, or what most people know as Styrofoam. The ordinance bans the use of plastic foam on city property and restricts single-use plastic straws. To give businesses time to adapt to the new standards, the ordinance includes a one-year period in which customers will be given straws only upon request.

“Nothing we use for a few minutes, such as plastic straws and foam cups and takeout containers, should pollute our coasts and oceans for hundreds of years,” said Environment Florida’s Jenna Stevens, who testified at the council meeting.

St. Petersburg is the latest entity among cities, countries and companies around the world to choose the lasting value of wildlife and our oceans over the short-term convenience of wasteful plastics.

Photo: Even Bottlenose dolphins feel the effects of plastic pollution in Florida’s waters. Credit: Public Domain. 

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