The final straw has been drawn – or at least plastic straw that is. On Monday, July 9th, the City of Sanibel council members passed an ordinance banning the use of plastic straws on island. The Sanibel plastic straw ban is an effort to protect the beaches and wildlife from harmful litter and debris.
Local Bans on Plastic Straws
Did you know over 500 millions plastic straws are used EACH DAY in the U.S.?! That’s according to thelasteplasticstraw.org, a global movement to eliminate plastic drinking straws from our landfills, beaches and bodies of water.
Fort Myers Beach was the first to place the straw ban in Southwest Florida, followed by Marco Island, and now Sanibel Island. Like many residents and restaurants on Sanibel who started removing plastic straws from their everyday use even before the ordinance, other cities like Naples and Bonita Springs have also started phasing out their plastic straws for eco-friendly options such as paper or reusable
Alternatives To Plastic
Paper straws!? Don’t they get soggy and unravel. Well, yes, they become soggy over time, but they get the trick done for those who can’t live without straws, or for frozen-type drinks which require a straw. Our advice? Don’t let that Pina Colada sit unattended too long! There’s always stainless steal or hard plastic straws that can be washed and reused. Some restaurants have opted to provide these instead of bio-degradable paper straws.
On a more serious note, we are happy to see the Sanibel plastic straw ban in place, as it so easily aligns with our island’s eco-conscious attitude and pursuit. The SanCap Coastal Keepers, a group of local community members working to preserve the island’s natural environment, has been working on initiatives like “Strawless on Sanibel” (SOS), and “Bring Your Own Bag” (BYOB) for quite awhile. The ordinance passed by the City of Sanibel on Monday is a big stepping stone of victory for many of our non-profits and groups advocating for cleaner beaches and water.
Southwest Florida is not the only area in the country concerned about plastic straw pollution. Seattle was one of the first cities to ban plastic straws and utensils, and recently even major fortune 500 companies like Starbucks have vowed to remove plastic straws from their storefronts by 2020. How awesome is that!
Hello SWFL, a local news company chatted with Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane about the ban, along with island business Joey’s Custard. Click here to watch the short video.