City’s Office of Sustainability Distributing Metal Straws, Tabletop Info Cards to Businesses.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA (September 26, 2019)
– West Palm Beach restaurant-goers will soon get beverages without a plastic straw or stirrer and may be given a natural alternative. To promote a more sustainable and resilient West Palm Beach and to reduce litter in our City, West Palm Beach City Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance banning the distribution, sale, and use of plastic straws and plastic stirrers in the City on March 11, 2019. The ordinance will go into effect on October 1, 2019.
Since, the City’s Office of Sustainability undertook a sweeping education and information campaign-- which includes special resources, social media engagement, a webpage (wpb.org/plasticfree
) and merchants’ meetings-- to raise awareness of the ordinance among business owners in the City and to introduce the public to alternatives, such as straws and stirrers made of paper, plant or other natural products.
“Through the plastic straws/stirrers ban, we are helping to mitigate the threat posed by single-use plastic straws and stirrers to our environment and, ultimately, reducing litter in City streets, parks, public places and waterfront areas,” said Penni Redford, City of West Palm Beach Manager of Resiliency and Climate Change.
The City’s Sustainability team has been encouraging businesses to:
• Finish phasing out their current plastic straw and stirrer stock before October 1st;
• Offer straws only upon request;
• Discuss alternatives, which may include metal or biodegradable straws, with their supplier.
Products made from alternative, non-plastic materials such as paper, rye/wheat/hay, bamboo, reusable glass, steel or metal are available as replacements for single-use plastic straws and stirrers. The City is distributing metal straws and tabletop information—first come, first served—to businesses upon request. Businesses are encouraged to give out the metal straws to customers with the idea that the customer will return to their establishment with the metal straw and without asking for a new straw, a cost-reduction for local businesses. Businesses wishing to request metal straws may email Elaine Christian, City of West Palm Beach Sustainability Program Coordinator, at EChristian@wpb.org
“We want the implementation of the ban to go smoothly for our valued West Palm Beach businesses, so we continue to offer resources and support in any way that we can,” said Christian. “The ban has received a lot of praise from the community, and we look forward to seeing its environmental benefits in our City in the years ahead.”
The prohibition does not include pre-packaged drinks sold at commercial establishments and does not apply to medical or dental facilities, individuals with a disability or other impairment requiring the use of a plastic straw or plastic stirrer, the School District or county, state, or federal government entities, or any city contract, lease, or concession agreement entered into prior to July 1, 2019. Written citations with a $125 fine per occurrence will be issued to the business/restaurant that does not abide by the ordinance once in effect on October 1, 2019.
By adopting the ban, the City of West Palm Beach joins the Florida cities of Delray Beach, Hallandale Beach, Deerfield Beach, Surfside, Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale.
Located in City Hall and in collaboration with City departments, the Office of Sustainability works to enhance the viability of West Palm Beach as a modern model of healthy, environmentally progressive, ecologically sustainable and resilient urban living. For more information, contact the Office of Sustainability at (561) 804-4984 (TTY 800-955-8771) and visit http://wpb.org/sustainability
. To contact the City of West Palm Beach, please call (561) 822-1400 (TTY 800-955-8771). For more information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit http://www.wpb.org