Miami Beach Is Banning Styrofoam

Miami Beach Is Banning Styrofoam
Photo via Wonderlane's Flickr | CC2.0

Miami Beach would like to be known less for odd chemicals in its residents' bodies and more for banning littering its streets, parks, and beaches with things made from odd chemicals. Following bans on plastic straws and Styrofoam containers on the beach, the city commission seems set to extend the ban of Styrofoam to all city-owned property. That includes restaurants that serve patrons on the sidewalks.

Styrofoam is, of course, a notoriously eco-unfriendly material. It's not effectively recyclable, and it will linger for up to hundreds of thousands of years in landfills before breaking down. Other cities have similar bans, the most strident of which is in New York (where even Styrofoam packing peanuts are outlawed). McDonald's decades ago stopped using the material to package all but a few breakfast meals, and Starbucks notably doesn't use Styrofoam cups.

So we're not talking anything radical here.

The ban, set to be voted on July 27, would extend no-Styrofoam zones from the beach to include sidewalk cafés, parks, and other city property.

Restaurant owners who spoke with the Miami Herald seemed pretty unconcerned about the proposed change.

"It will be very easy for us to change to what they want," Jim Omur, owner of Nexxt Café, told the paper. "I understand and congratulate them for that decision."

In fact, the whole thing seems so common and controversy-free you have to wonder why it wasn't brought up beforehand or why more cities don't follow suit.

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