Fort Lauderdale set to outlaw ‘blight’ of plastic straws – Sun Sentinel

For years, the plastic straw seemed just a harmless, colorful aid for sipping your soda. Now, it’s an “environmental blight.”

Fort Lauderdale will join a growing number of major cities and commercial chains outlawing the plastic straw, declaring it a threat to the oceans, beaches and wildlife. City commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday night on a law prohibiting the sale or distribution of plastic straws in any commercial establishment, city facility or at any special event that pulled a city permit. A final vote is expected in two weeks.

The law still allows a resident to sip through plastic straws in the privacy of his or her own home.

Straw sippers won’t be expected to quit cold turkey. For the first six months, the city will educate the public, preparing them to part with the plastic. For the following six months, a customer who just can’t consume a drink without one can get one upon request. But a year from now, the full ban would be in effect. Anyone addicted to straw use would have to tote one to a restaurant.

Already, some other seaside Broward cities regulate plastic straw sales or distribution: Deerfield Beach, Dania Beach, Hollywood and Hallandale. Elsewhere in Florida, the cities of Fort Myers, Marco Island, Sanibel, Miami Beach and Surfside have anti-straw laws on the books.

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