If you live in St. Petersburg, you may be sipping your soda from bamboo soon.
On Thursday, St. Pete City Council approved an ordinance that eliminates plastic straws in most city businesses by 2020. The ordinance also bans distribution of ‘expanded polystyrene products’ (sometimes called Styrofoam) on city property.
Under the measure, businesses that sell food or drinks won’t be allowed to offer plastic straws to customers, providing them only upon request. Drive-thrus are an exception, as are hospitals and other locations.
The measure also bars businesses from distributing expanded polystyrene products, such as Styrofoam, with the exception of some pre-packaged foods and products used for the storage of meats, fish and other seafood products.
Businesses found to be in violation of the ban will get a written warning. A $40 fine will be issued if they fail to comply after 30 days. A third violation carries an $80 fine.
Other Florida cities, such as Fort Myers, Marco Island, Sanibel, Miami Beach and Surfside, have banned plastic straws, which litter the beaches and waterways.
If passed, the ordinance would take effect in Jan. 2020.
The city council meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.