Miami Springs Mayor Maria Mitchell was pushing for a resolution during Monday’s Miami Springs City Council Meeting to encourage residents and businesses not to use styrofoam. The goal was to encourage the use of alternatives to styrofoam.
Places like McDonald’s moved away from styrofoam decades ago, but many local places use styrofoam all the time. Takeout from Burritoville comes in a styrofoam container. Cafecito from Bella’s bakery comes in a styrofoam cup.
The benefits of styrofoam is that it’s very cheap for businesses and consumers alike. Styrofoam is also extremely effective at keeping cold things cold and hot items hot.
However, styrofoam does not biodegrade well nor is it recyclable. That makes it a detriment to our environment. Look at any of our canals and I’m sure you’ll see a styrofoam cup that didn’t biodegrade. Worse yet, it may break up into smaller pieces that can be easily ingested by some of our local wildlife.
To be clear, a resolution is just a statement of intention and does not have the weight of law. Mayor Mitchell did not suggest passing an ordinance to ban the use of styrofoam, but it became a little confusing when the resolution was to include rules for people renting City facilities. Mayor Mitchell suggested the banning of using styrofoam products when renting a city facility and that if styrofoam products were used, then a portion of the deposit would not be returned to the renter. In other words, if you rent a city facility, you can’t bring in Cuban Coffee in a styrofoam cup. You can’t accept a Burritoville delivery because then you’d lose a portion of the deposit.
However, Councilman Walter Fajet, who generally supported the a resolution expressing the idea of moving away from styrofoam, said if we start penalizing people who rent our facilities for bringing in styrofoam products, “that’s where I get off the train.”
This was only a discussion item and nothing was passed, but it’s expected that the City Attorney will formalize a resolution sharing the spirit of reducing the use of styrofoam for alternatives. However, it’s unclear if that resolution will have verbiage banning the use of styrofoam when renting at a city facility.
We’ll keep you posted.