Orlando's ban on styrofoam at city properties not threatened by South Florida court ruling


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If you haven't heard, an appellate court just ruled that the city of Coral Gables cannot impose it's 2016 ban on styrofoam.

You may have also heard that the Orlando City Council has agreed to a new policy banning plastic straws, bags and utensils, and Styrofoam ice chests and cups, at city parks and venues like the Amway Center, Camping World Stadium and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

So, can Orlando still ban styrofoam on city properties?

Apparently yes, according to city officials. It's going into effect Oct. 1.

The difference is, in Coral Gables, the city approved a Styrofoam-ban ordinance in February 2016, effectively banning the white packaging material across the board. It led to a lawsuit from the Florida Retail Federation, which resulted in the recent ruling.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeals found that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services bill that stops local governments from regulating styrofoam bans using ordinances was constitutional, News Service of Florida reported.

But Orlando's policy is strictly delegated to areas that belong to the city, Karyn Barber, a city spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

"Because the city's policy is internal, and not a citywide ban, this ruling will not have an impact on our policy for single-use products on city-owned property," Barber wrote.

"However, we are encouraged by the fact that more than 75 businesses in Orlando have voluntarily eliminated styrofoam, plastic bags, and/or plastic straws and have made the switch to more environmentally-friendly alternatives that are either compostable, biodegradable, reusable, or recyclable."

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