Earlier this month, an appeals court cozied up with the Florida Retail Federation(FRT) to uphold state laws that prevent municipalities from installing bans on Polystyrene (foam).
The decision came following a suit that was filed against Coral Gables by the FRT, interpreting their ban – which was passed in 2016 – as unconstitutional.
That “ban on bans” keeps the City of Orlando from putting anything official in place that would affect local retailers but they did put a ban into place in June 2019 for public spaces and venues – banning plastic straws, bags, and polystyrene containers.
Because the City of Orlando’s recent policy change is internal, and not a citywide ban, the recent ruling will not have an impact on its policy for single-use products on city-owned property – which goes into effect on October 1.
According to City spokesperson Karyn Barber, more than 75 businesses have pledged to voluntarily eliminate foam products, plastic bags, and plastic straws and have made the switch to more environmentally-friendly alternatives that are either compostable, biodegradable, reusable, or recyclable.
The State may have pre-empted cities from creating policies that restrict the use of single-use waste, but they can’t stop businesses from doing it themselves.