Plastic Free Florida

The photo above was taken in Miami, Florida at a VolunteerCleanup.org waterway cleanup.

Single-Use Plastics:

The Problem: An estimated 33 billion pounds of plastic enter the ocean every year — that’s roughly the equivalent of dumping two garbage trucks full of plastic into the oceans every minute.

Plastics never was and never will be disposable“.

Jackie Nuñez, the Last Plastic Straw

The Solution:

Watch Oceana’s video about the plastic pollution problem. Hagas click aqui para ver el video en Español.

Plásticos de un solo uso 101

Aquí está todo lo que necesita saber sobre el omnipresente (y evitable) desperdicios plásticos: el tipo hecho para ser arrojado en cuestión de minutos. (NRDC)

Recent Actions

April 18,2023- North Bay Village

The town of North Bay Village passed an ordinance banning all intentional balloon releases.

April 11, 2023- Flagler County

Flagler County banned intentional outdoor balloon releases and sky lantern releases on April 11, 2023.

March 8, 2023- Plantation

The City of Plantation enacted a new Administrative Policy to prohibit expanded polystyrene foam food service items on City property and in City facilities. This would apply to vendors, contracts, event permits, and concessionaires. Food service articles are plates, bowls, cups, containers, lids, trays, coolers, ice chests, and all similar articles that consist of expanded polystyrene.
City property or facilities includes, but is not limited to, any buildings, structures, parks or beaches, owned, operated, or managed by the city.
Special event permittee means any person or entity issued a special event permit by the city for a special event on city property or in a city facility.

The City also added a ban on intentional balloon releases on public property. Effective April 1, 2023.

October 25, 2022- Jacksonville

It is now illegal to release balloons in Jacksonville after the city council approved a city-wide ban on releasing balloons and sky lanterns. Rory Diamond, Jacksonville City Councilmember for District 13, said it was the “most popular piece of legislation ever.” Currently, Florida law prohibits the release of more than 10 helium balloons. This means that the state actually allows Floridians to litter up to 10 balloons into the environment. This state law obviously needs to be updated to prohibit any intentional balloon releases, including balloons marketed as “biodegradable.” These balloons often include strings that can entangle wildlife.

June 2, 2022- Gainesville

The City of Gainesville passed a Skip the Stuff/By Request Only ordinance. Prepared food providers shall not provide single-use plastic food accessories (such as plastic utensils, condiment packets, portion cups) for dine-in, take-out or delivery, unless the single-use food accessory is specifically requested by the customer or is provided at a customer self-serve station. This “By Request Only” plastics ordinance was passed June 2, 2022 and will go into effect September 2, 2022. The ordinance also included a ban on polystyrene foam on City property, balloon releases, and glitter. (The plastic straws/stirrers portion of the ordinance is older- that portion was passed years ago).

June 8, 2022- National Parks

On World Oceans Day, June 8th, 2022, the Biden administration announced a series of actions it would be taking to protect our oceans. Among them was an announcement that the Dept. of Interior will initiate a phaseout of single-use plastics in national parks and other public lands, which would reduce the procurement, sale, and distribution of single-use plastic products and packaging in 423 national parks, including 88 ocean and coastal parks. Read more here.

April 26, 2022- Broward County

The Broward County Commission passed a resolution to amend the existing administrative code to restrict the distribution, sale, and use of expanded polystyrene (foam) items, and single-use plastic straws and stirrers on County properties – including parks, airport terminals, and cruise ship terminals. The amendment also includes a ban on the use and release of Chinese lanterns, and confetti on County property. The code amendment is effective June 1, 2022 and applies to county contracts, with provisions to address contract renewals and amendments, as well as active solicitations. It was the final hearing.

February 10, 2022- Flagler Beach

Flagler Beach passed a ban on intentional balloon releases as well as sky lantern releases.

January 18, 2022 – St. Johns County

The St. Johns County commission voted 5-0 Tuesday to ban balloon releases and lantern releases. (Sky lantern releases are prohibited also by state statute 791.01). Read more here.

January 10, 2022 – Lauderhill

The City of Lauderhill unanimously passed an ordinance to prohibit single-use plastic/foam foodware on city property and also banned the intentional release of balloons.

December 13, 2021 – Atlantic Beach

The City of Atlantic Beach  unanimously passed  ordinance 95-21-120 to prohibit the sale and distribution of polystyrene EPS on city property and the beach.

December 2, 2021 – Palm Beach Gardens

The city of Palm Beach Gardens passed a resolution to prohibit balloons, confetti, and glitter on public property. The resolution also directs the City Manager to negotiate to include “no balloons, glitter, and confetti products” provisions into all contracts, as applicable.

November 9, 2021 – Seminole County

Seminole commissioners banned single-use products and plastic bags from being sold or disbursed on county properties by either staff or contracted vendors to encourage the use of biodegradable or reusable containers. The ban includes plastic materials — such as utensils, cups, coffee stirrers, straws and trays — that are commonly used one time to serve food or drinks and then thrown in the garbage. Read more here.

November 1, 2021- St. Augustine Beach

On November 1st, 2021, St. Augustine Beach passed a ban on the intentional release of balloons.

September 24, 2021 – Florida

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has begun rulemaking to phase out the use of polystyrene products in Florida grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, and other regulated businesses. Read more here.

August 9, 2021 – St. Augustine

St. Augustine commissioners passed a ban on the intentional release of balloons. More here.

June 8, 2021 – Boca Raton

On June 8th, World Oceans Day, the city of Boca Raton unanimously passed an ordinance to ban polystyrene foam foodware on city property and city events. The ordinance also prohibits confetti and balloons on outdoor city property. Temporary vendors are prohibited from selling or distributing food and drinks packaged in polystyrene foam products on city property.

June 2, 2021 – Tallahassee

The City of Tallahassee adopted a single-use plastics policy at the June 2 city commission meeting. The policy restricts the utilization of single-use plastics for all food and beverage service at City events and on City property.

April 20, 2021 – Boynton Beach

On April 20th, the city of Boynton Beach unanimously passed an ordinance to prohibit polystyrene foam, balloons, and confetti on all city property, which includes parks and the beach.

March 18, 2021 – Sunny Isles Beach

On March 18, the city of Sunny Isles Beach unanimously passed an ordinance to ban single-use polystyrene foam foodware and cups on city property. Read the ordinance here.

January 14, 2021 – Palm Beach Gardens

On January 14, Palm Beach Gardens passed a resolution prohibiting the use of polystyrene products on public property. It also directs City Administration to negotiate “No Polystyrene” provisions in applicable City contracts, and encourages all residents and retail businesses within the City to reduce or eliminate the use of polystyrene products.

November 17, 2020- Fort Lauderdale

The city of Fort Lauderdale took action to reduce plastic pollution by passing an ordinance prohibiting the use of single-use polystyrene foam food-service products by city vendors, as well as the use of these plastic products on city property. The ordinance prohibits the use of single-use polystyrene foam cups and food containers in places like city parks, city facilities and the beach.

November 11, 2020 – Winter Park

Winter Park’s single-use plastic policy bans at city properties specific items, from plastic straws, stirrers and bags, to foam containers. The City Commission was inspired by similar policies of partners like the city of Orlando and Orange County. This 6 month pilot program will go into effect on May 11th, 2021.

October 21, 2020- Hollywood

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. The ordinance prohibits the use of single-use plastic products, such as water bottles, utensils, cups and plates, and expanded polystyrene foam coolers in places like city parks, city facilities and the beach. Included in this ordinance is a ban on intentional balloon releases. 

October 6, 2020- Delray Beach

The city of Delray Beach passed 2 polystyrene resolutions. These resolutions encourage local retail stores, restaurant, and all city businesses to reduce the use of polystyrene products and also encourage city staff to negotiate “no polystyrene clauses” into their contracts with vendors.

September 3, 2020- Tampa

On September 3, 2020, 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

On August 25th, 2020, 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 packaging on city property, city facilities, and city contracts and events.