PFI Legislative Outreach

Plastics Free Initiative Website GCI Contribution

• What is the Green Campus Initiative? o Green Campus Initiative (GCI) is an Honors College organization dedicated to making Florida International University (FIU), and the greater state of Florida, more sustainable. Currently, GCI has been focused on the regulation of single-use plastics as they believe the time is now. At the university level, GCI works closely with faculty to implement sustainable initiatives related to reducing plastic waste. To accomplish their local and state-level goals, GCI works to expand their off-campus collaborations. o More and more countries, states, and cities have been implementing legislation regulating sin

Last of the Right Whales

North Atlantic right whales are dying faster than they can reproduce.

Why Do Some People in New Jersey Suddenly Have Bags and Bags of Bags?

A ban on single-use plastic and paper bags in grocery stores had an unintended effect: Delivery services switched to heavy, reusable sacks — lots of them.

New Jersey is getting past: Single-Use Carryout Bags, Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products, and Plastic Straws (P.L. 2020, c. 117 )

Starting May 4, 2022, New Jersey retail stores, grocery stores and food service businesses may not provide or sell single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products. Single-use paper carryout bags are allowed to be provided or sold, except by grocery stores equal to or larger than 2500 square feet, which may only provide or sell reusable carryout bags. After November 4, 2021, plastic straws may be provided only upon the request of the customer.

Giant globe made of plastic trash is a visual call to action

Jerusalem artist collected plastic litter from beaches and parks in several countries, fashioning it into an installation for the World Trade Center.

Big trash beach ball rolls out Tel Aviv’s anti-plastic law

Artist Tal Tenne Czaczkes made the sculpture for the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, which voted to outlaw single-use plastic on bathing beaches.

Jason Momoa Surprises Passengers, Serves Drinks on Hawaiian Airlines Flight: ‘It’s a Dream Come True’

Jason Momoa made a very special trip this week from Los Angeles to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines to celebrate the airline’s partnership with his water company Mananalu.

E-RECYCLING DAY

On Saturday, July 9th, PFI and WCCG members joined the Department of Solid Waste for an electronic recycling day. The PFI and WCCG members manned a table containing many products which are alternatives to single-use plastics.

12 simple ways to use less plastic in your life

Small actions such as replacing your plastic toothbrush and lunchbox with reusable versions can make a big difference to the environment.

WE ALL LIVE DOWNSTREAM

Plastic Free July is a global movement that empowers us to be part of the solution to plastic pollution. The concept is simple: Participants are challenged to take account of their current plastic use and reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.

California Requires Plastics Makers to Foot the Bill for Recycling

The landmark legislation also restricts single-use plastics. Because California’s economy is sobig, experts say, the law could have far-reaching effects.

Electronic Recycling

Please bring out all your electronics you do not need anymore for recycling.

Second arrest made after video showed mass balloon-popping at a Coconut Grove marina

A second person has been arrested after a video shared on Instagram showed people popping dozens of balloons and letting pieces fall in the bay at a Coconut Grove marina. Read Full Article Here »

2 Dead Sperm Whales Found Beached in Florida Keys in One Week

“We’re trying to gather as much information as we possibly can,” said Blair Mase, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s southeast regional marine mammal stranding coordinator. “We’re really hoping it doesn’t become a trend.”   Was the cause plastic we dont know!

Zumba for Donations

May 28th (Saturday) 11:00am to 12:30pm Charlotte J Burrie Civic Center 2669 N Federal Highway Pompano Beach, Florida 33064

Trash or Recycling? Why Plastic Keeps Us Guessing.

Did you know the ♻ symbol doesnʼt mean something is actually recyclable? Play our trashy garbage-sorting game. Then, read on about how we got here, and what can be done.

Why is April 22 celebrated as Earth Day?

Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and Earth Day 2021 will occur on Thursday, April 22—the holiday’s 51st anniversary. The holiday is now a global celebration that’s sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green living.

Scientists Make Plastic Discovery In Human Blood

A new report from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection sounds alarm bells: 93% of Floridians surveyed, including residents, local leaders and business owners, believe regulation of single-use plastics is needed.

Plastics and their impacts on South Florida

The ocean is an enormous and powerful body of water. It’s hard to imagine that putting something small in it, like a plastic bottle or a drop of oil, could make any difference in its well-being or hurt the plants and animals that call it home.

Local 10 News Miami – Plastics report has some Florida leaders pushing for tougher laws

A new report from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection sounds alarm bells: 93% of Floridians surveyed, including residents, local leaders and business owners, believe regulation of single-use plastics is needed.

Call to action from GFWC of Florida

The GFWC of Florida has resolved to create a collaborative partnership with the Plastics-Free Initiative as part of their broader call-to-action involving the elimination of ‘Single Use Plastics’.

New Opportunity: The National Business Coalition for the Oceans

The ocean conservation nonprofit Oceana has a new partnership opportunity: The National Business Coalition for the Oceans.

ACTION – Florida banning Plastic Bags? MAYBE

The University of Florida (UF) is conducting a survey on behalf of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) (per a request from the State Legislature) to learn more about the use of plastic bags, auxiliary materials and wrappings.

Holiday weekend highlights trash trouble on Miami islands

For six years they have been documenting this growing crisis on the bay’s spoil islands, a frequent haunt for boaters and jet skiers and a magnet for garbage.

Fish Kill in Biscayne Bay: A Report and a Plan

It’s been almost a year since the massive fish kill in Biscayne Bay that left thousands of animals gasping for air and algae blooms floating across the water. Distilling down all that we have learned in the past year, we are proud to present a full report on last summer’s fish kill, as well as a community response plan for similar disasters in the future.

Twenty firms produce 55% of world’s plastic waste, report reveals

Twenty companies are responsible for producing more than half of all the single-use plastic waste in the world, fuelling the climate crisis and creating an environmental catastrophe, new research reveals.

Become more Aware of Single Use Plastic with Seymour the Seahorse (for children, ages 4-6)

The ocean is an enormous and powerful body of water. It’s hard to imagine that putting something small in it, like a plastic bottle or a drop of oil, could make any difference in its well-being or hurt the plants and animals that call it home.

54 Recycled Crafts for Kids | FaveCrafts.com

Recycled crafts for kids can be a valuable tool of entertainment and distraction after a long school day.

No Time for Flash Cards

EARLY EDUCATION AND CREATIVE PLAY Thousands of great ideas for early childhood education activities!

16 Ways to Recycle Plastic Bottles for Play!

If you have been throwing those empty juice, water and soft drink bottles into the bin then STOP right there because today I’m sharing 16 easy ways to recycle plastic bottles for play!

Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act!

The petrochemical industry and the pollution it creates disproportionately harms people of color and low-income communities. Every year, the United States alone burns or buries in landfill 32 million tons of plastic, impacting the health, wealth, and well-being of frontline and fenceline communities. In fact, the U.S. produces the most plastic waste per capita of any country, and exports much of this waste to the Global South. An astounding 91% of plastic is never recycled.

Top 20 Recycling Games And Activities For Kids

How To: This scavenger hunt requires children to find recyclable items. Make a list of all the recyclable items that the players have to find. You can even assign a time limit for the task. 30 minutes would be more than enough.

29 Ideas Big and Small to Bring Recycling Into the Classroom

Help your students take recycling to a whole new level in your classroom with these inspirational ideas and projects. Recycling in your classroom can easily be made a daily activity.

Stop using Plastic Bags, Publix

Help keep millions of single-use plastic bags out of our environment by demanding that Publix eliminate their use of single-use plastic bags at checkout.

Protect Our Ocean From Climate Change

Climate change is altering our ocean and the essential services it provides us—such as a livable climate, fish to eat and important industries like shipping and tourism. But the ocean isn’t only a victim of climate change, it’s also a powerful source of solutions. It can help slow climate change by providing offshore renewable energy and natural carbon storage in critical coastal ecosystems like wetlands and mangrove swamps.

10 Ways You Can Help Save the Oceans

Oceans cover 71 percent of the planet and are home to important species and ecosystems that we rely on for food, livelihoods, climate regulation and more. But the oceans need our help. Saving the oceans can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task, but if we all pitch in, we can make a big difference.

Reintroducing The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act!

The federal Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act (BFFPPA) was reintroduced (S. 984) by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). The Surfrider Foundation has been involved with BFFPPA since its inception and we have been working closely on this reintroduction. The priorities that Surfrider focused on for the reintroduced bill included pushing for incentivizing reuse / refill models, strengthening the definition of reusable bag, addressing toxics more broadly, and closing the loophole for plastic waste exports. We’re happy to report that each of these priorities were addressed in the reintroduced bill.

Why does water remain on our streets after a rainstorm?

There are a number of reasons! There are a number of reasons! In residential areas with urban streets, stormwater is conveyed along paved roadways with curb and gutter and into the storm sewer system through inlets or catch basins.

Recycling Myth of the Month: Plastic waste is not just a ‘developing country problem’

When the subject of plastic pollution comes up in the United States, Europe, or other Western countries, many people’s first instinct is to dodge responsibility and pass the blame onto other nations.

Choked, Strangled, Drowned: The Plastics Crisis Unfolding in our Oceans

In 2019, news outlets across the world reported on a beaked whale that died after ingesting more than 88 pounds of plastic.

Build Your New Home with Recycled Plastic Building Materials

Whether you are adding a room, renovating your house, or starting from scratch, construction can be an arduous and lengthy process. Not only can it turn your life upside down, but it also can generate a lot of waste.

30 Crafts and Activities Using Recycled Materials

Looking for ways to teach your kids about recycling? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Let’s raid your recycling bins for supplies and then try one of these eco-savvy crafts that is sure to excite kids of all ages.

President Biden: Be a #PlasticFreePresident

A coalition of more than 550 community and conservation organizations, including many members in the #breakfreefromplastic movement, as well as sustainable businesses today released its Presidential Plastics Action Plan…

Just One Word: Refillables

Oceana analyzed packaging market data for the nonalcoholic beverages industry, the market share of PET bottles, and plastic marine pollution data in 76 coastal countries around the world to estimate the total amount of PET plastic bottle marine pollution…

Miami Waterkeeper: State of the Water 2021

Join Miami Waterkeeper for our third annual State of the Water address. This free, virtual event will convene community leaders to provide a full and fact-based overview of the major issues facing our watershed and solutions for the coming year. 

Recycling in America Is a Mess. A New Bill Could Clean It Up.

As programs shutter and plastic use rises in the pandemic, a New York bill to get manufacturers to pick up the recycling tab could offer a solution.

PFI announces co-sponsorship of “Rise above Plastics Advocacy Week”

The Plastics-Free Initiative Coalition is a co-sponsor of this important advocacy event “Rise above Plastics Advocacy Week.” We encourage you to take action on reducing single-use plastics, and sign up to participate in this virtual event #RiseAbovePlastics.

Surfrider Foundation – Plastic Pollution Initiative: Year in Review

2020 brought unprecedented events, from a global pandemic to civil unrest due to racial injustices and systematic racism. Surfrider’s Plastic Pollution Initiative experienced a renewed sense of commitment and urgency in continuing to fight against plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is not only an environmental issue, but it’s also a social and racial justice issue, and now more than ever, we need to take concrete steps to address this crisis.

Amazon’s Plastic Problem Revealed

Oceana analyzed e-commerce packaging data and found that Amazon generated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2019. This includes air pillows, bubble wrap, and other plastic packaging items added to the approximately 7 billion Amazon packages delivered in 2019. The report also found that Amazon’s estimated plastic packaging waste, in the form of air pillows alone, would circle the Earth more than 500 times.

President Biden: Be a #PlasticFreePresident

A coalition of more than 550 community and conservation organizations, including many members in the #breakfreefromplastic​ movement, today released its Presidential Plastics Action Plan, urging President-elect Joe Biden to take eight key executive actions to solve the plastic pollution crisis and become a #PlasticFreePresident​.

The Most Important Cleanup of the Year

In the aftermath of the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6th, a single Congressman from New Jersey spontaneously conducted what we are calling the most important cleanup of the year, although it was far from any beach. Congressman Andy Kim from NJ’s 3rd Congressional District had just finished voting after Congress regrouped following the attempted insurrection. Walking the devastated Capitol Building afterwards, the Congressman did what so many Surfrider Foundation volunteers do all the time; he grabbed a trash bag and started cleaning up. Congressman Kim received recognition for this on CNN and participated in numerous interviews on the subject. He humbly claimed it was an ordinary act but that “his heart was broken” to see the building that is such an iconic symbol of our democracy so trashed and so disrespected. Read the full story here: Surfrider.org

PFI Wins Inaugural “President’s Pick” Award from GFWC Blog

The first club project designated as a “President’s Pick” for its individual merit, plus its adaptability for use by other clubs, has been announced! Congratulations to the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove for building a community network of like-minded individuals and organizations for an effective campaign.

Florida’s state marine mammal, the manatee, is falling prey to plastics

Affectionately known as “sea cows,” manatees are a treasured sight along Florida’s coastline. These slow-moving, gentle giants can weigh up to 1,200 pounds, subsisting solely on a vegetarian spread of seagrass and algae. But their diets too often include something that doesn’t belong – plastic.

Oceana reviewed nearly 1,800 documented cases of plastic consumption and entanglement among marine animals in U.S. waters from 2009 to early 2020 and discovered that manatees, along with turtles, were disproportionately represented…

The green packaging solution that won’t pollute

Throw your takeout meal container in the compost when you’re done, thanks to SupraPulp’s plant-fiber packaging.

Plastic Free Florida launches their new website

Plastic Free Florida has announced the launching of their new website. Click through for link to website.

Americans May Add Five Times More Plastic to the Oceans Than Thought

The United States is using more plastic than ever, and waste exported for recycling is often mishandled, according to a new study.

What NOT to Put in the Bin

Ever wondered if that greasy paper plate could go in your recycling bin? Or would it really be a big deal if you threw in just one plastic bag? It may seem simple to determine what doesn’t go in a recycling bin based on an item’s labels or whether or not it shows a recycling symbol. Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward.

City of Hollywood unanimously passes ordinance prohibiting use of polystyrene and single-use plastic food-service products by city vendors

10-23-2020 – Today, the city of Hollywood took action to reduce plastic pollution by unanimously passing an ordinance prohibiting the use of polystyrene and single-use plastic food-service products by city vendors, as well as the use of these plastic products on city property.

Scientists Found A New Way To Break Down the Most Common Plastic

The petrochemical industry produces more than 88 million tons of polyethylene, making it the most common plastic in the world. Scientists have found a new way to upcycle it, according to a study published in Science on Thursday. It could help deal with the growing plastic pollution crisis.

Legislative Highlights – Protecting Biscayne Bay

Legislative Highlights – Commissioner Russell: Biscayne Bay is in trouble, as evidenced by this summer’s massive fish kill, algae blooms the previous year, and the die off of sea grasses over several years. The City of Miami is taking the issue seriously. Biscayne Bay is the lifeblood of our economy and quality of life. We cannot let hurting the bay be just a cost of doing business.

Plastic Free Florida is an unaffiliated movement organized to take action on plastics and foam at the local level. Their new website provides a one-stop shop for Floridians who want to take action to fight the use of single-use plastics, but don’t know where to begin. The movement’s primary focus is on legislative policy, not programs.

We lobby local and regional lawmakers to adopt regulations reducing plastic waste and the use of single-use packaging, containers and utensils.

Cities in FL with plastic straw ordinances:

  1. Ft Lauderdale
  2. Miami Beach
  3. Stuart
  4. Hallandale Beach
  5. Dania Beach
  6. Lauderdale by the Sea
  7. Pompano Beach
  8. Deerfield Beach
  9. Fort Myers Beach
  10. Delray Beach
  11. Wilton Manors
  12. West Palm Beach
  13. Ormond Beach
  14. Pinecrest
  15. Key West
  16. St Pete
  17. Palmetto Bay
  18. Largo
  19. Sunny Isles
  20. Surfside
  21. Marco Island
  22. Sanibel
  23. Key Biscayne
  24. Sarasota
  25. Oakland Park
  26. Palm Beach
  27. Alachua County

 

Cities in FL with other types of plastic/foam ordinances which also may include straws and/or foam and/or utensils etc:  

  1. Hollywood (no plastic or foam east of intracoastal) Hollywood also passed first reading of a single use plastics on city property ordinance on Feb 5th and will most likely pass on second reading in Oct 2020.
  2. Deerfield Beach
  3. Miami Beach
  4. Bal Harbour
  5. North Bay Village
  6. St Pete
  7. Largo
  8. Miami Dade County Parks and Beaches (polystyrene foam)
  9. Key Biscayne beaches and parks (polystyrene foam)
  10. Bay Harbour Islands
  11. Pinecrest
  12. Surfside
  13. Village of Miami Shores- plastic water bottles
  14. Orange County, Florida.  No EPS foam in any new county contracts, including convention center.
  15. Orlando
  16. Dania Beach (foam ordinance city property passed July 2020)
  17. Tampa (city resolution banning foam passed Sept 2020)

Cities that HAD ordinances (bags and/or foam) that were withdrawn 

  1. Coral Gables
  2. St. Augustine Beach
  3. Gainesville
  4. Surfside
  5. Palm Beach

Legislative Outreach Committee – Team Leaders:
Catherine (Cat) Uden, Oceana
Holly Parker, Surfrider
Laura Reynolds, Conservation Concepts, LLC

Oceana is a Florida Plastics-Free Initiative Coalition member that is very active in public policy and change, and a contributor to the Legislative Outreach section of this website. (Thank you, Cat Uden!)

The following legislative actions have recently been taken:

September 3, 2020 – Tampa – The city of Tampa moved toward limiting some single-use plastics that pollute the environment, with council members unanimously supporting a ban on distributing foam cups, plates and other items on public property.

August 25, 2020 – Dania Beach – The city of Dania Beach took action to reduce plastic pollution by passing an ordinance to reduce single use expanded polystyrene foam food and beverage packing on city property, city facilities, and city contracts and events.

Organizations and Coalitions working to reduce plastics in Florida through policy change, Statewide:

Oceana
Undivided Planet
Surfrider Foundation
Student PIRGS
League of Women Voters FL
Florida Plastic Free Initiative
Sierra Club FL
Environment Florida
Plastic Pollution Coalition

Southeast:
Florida Keys Environment Coalition
Debris Free Oceans
Friends of Palm Beach
Boca Save our Beaches

Southwest:
Suncoast Rise Above Plastics
Rethinking Plastic

North:
Zero Waste Gainesville
Beaches Go Green