Sunday, February 10, 2019

UPDATE: There will be no City ban on plastic straws in the City of Lake Worth.

Have you been following the latest effort
to try and ban plastic straws?

Well, here is the timeline, a short chronology
on how we got here.

So first Delray Beach makes a splash in the news about mid-January and then the Plastic Straw Ban Platoon here in the City of Lake Worth sees a glimmer of hope. But on January 21st on this blog already predicted what would happen. So up comes the City Commission meeting on February 5th and guess what is on the agenda? A discussion about banning plastic straws. Unlike in the past when all this came as a surprise no one was surprised any more like a few years ago when it was all about banning plastic balloons.

You can’t blame the public en route to City Hall when thoughts like “out of touch” come to mind when seeing prostitutes walking up and down Dixie Hwy. The topic on the agenda about plastic straws is much like the one about plastic balloons when it gave some prostitutes an idea. Why not carry balloons to be more noticeable?

Moving on. . .

Whilst all this is going on about plastic straws several bills are floating around Tallahassee including this one in the Florida Senate to make this debate moot. So it would actually behoove municipalities to wait and see how all this shakes out.

For some unknown reason the municipalities of Jupiter and Lake Worth had become ground zero for banning plastic. Lake Worth was first in 2016 going after plastic balloons and Jupiter came later with plastic straws. A ban on balloons fell flat and then the focus turned entirely to plastic straws.

Then in June last year Drew Martin at the Loxahatchee Sierra Club really turned up the heat by linking up with the March For Ocean (M4O) in Washington, D.C. The marches took off. But then shortly afterward that effort fizzled too. Why? Political marches had become unpopular. And when people march they need water. And plastic water bottles are really convenient.

The message from the M4O marches was also about getting the public to switch from plastic water bottles to canteens. But canteens are hard to find, especially ones without any plastic. And law enforcement frowns on metal canteens.

And then the public started asking questions about all kinds of plastic products. Why just focus on plastic straws leading to the bigger question, “Do you really need another flimsy tote or pen?

Anyhow, back to February 5th at Lake Worth City Hall.

Ends up the discussion at the City Commission was very brief. According to several commissioners many businesses already on their own have switched to paper straws and many others gave up using plastic straws entirely. The mood at the Commission was clearly to educate the public and not legislate.

Now that the focus is off plastic straws in the City of Lake Worth that frees the supporters of banning plastic to search for other things to ban. And on that the supporters of banning plastic could actually help this City take a big leap forward: the banning of plastic pool noodles.

As always, Thank You for visiting once again today and hope you found this information helpful.