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Support S.B. 348 to allow a plastic bag ban

Letter to the Editor

February 7, 2018
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Support S.B. 348 to allow a plastic bag ban

To the Editor:

I would like to bring to your attention the proposed Plastic Bag Ban that is currently submitted to this legislative session for approval. It is SB 348 and was submitted by Florida Senator Jose Havier Rodriguez of Miami-Dade for the third year in a row. It has died in subcommittee review the past two years.

It proposes allowing local municipalities to create a pilot program that would allow a temporary ban on the distribution of plastic bags in coastal communities of less than 100,000 population. It requires before and after environmental impact studies whether or not this is a benefit to the beaches and marine life. There already are studies indicating the harm plastics cause in these areas including the recent emphasis on microplastics - and there are many residents along the Florida coast who are in favor of such a ban and anticipate the improvement of beach trash and the positive affect said ban would have on marine mammals.

The Plastic Bag Ban has been in effect since one coastal town banned plastic bags and there was a complaint made to the State Legislature regarding a negative financial impact this was creating at a retail business. Customers were not shopping at certain retailers because they were not given plastic bags and did not want to purchase a reusable shopping bag, did not want to bring their own bag, or did not want to carry their purchases without them being placed in a plastic bag. Therefore, the reasoning behind this Ban was originally to safeguard the financial security of certain retailers.

The Senate Bill 348 can be found easily through a Google search 'SB 348 Florida State' and the members of each subcommittee that is reviewing this bill are available. The phone number and email of each senator on each committee can be contacted and informed that you are in favor of this bill, live in a coastal community and are willing to forgo plastic bags and use reusable shopping bags or bring your own.

If possible, or if you are so inclined, please send a message to any or all of the subcommittee senators and show your interest in Senate Bill 348.

It starts with US locally. This is something we can do right HERE. Right NOW.

Thank you,

Shannon Mapes

Fort Myers Beach



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