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Take Note For Your Next Picnic: Miami-Dade County Styrofoam Ban Starts On July 1

No polystyrene will be allowed in county parks or beaches starting July, 1.
No polystyrene will be allowed in county parks or beaches starting July, 1.

There will be no more Styrofoam allowed at Miami-Dade County beaches, marinas or parks.

The ban on polystyrene products, which skirts state law preventing municipalities from regulating the material outside their own properties, starts July 1.

That means that if you look at the bottom of a cup or take-out container and see the number 6, you won’t be able to take it with you to one of these county properties. Common polystyrene products also include plates, bowls and hinged or lidded containers

The material breaks down incredibly slowly and generally breaks apart before then, becoming litter and hazardous for wildlife.

The ban extends, with a few exceptions, to vendors who contract with the county to serve concessions.

While an infraction could cost you up to $50, Paul Vitro with the county’s Park, Recreation, and Open Spaces Department says it’s not about trying to punish people.

“This ban is really about education,” said Vitro. “It’s really about having the chance to outreach to the public and let them know the negative impacts of this and to try to help them make better choices that impact the environment less.”

The county passed the measure setting the ban in motion last summer. That came on the heels of the state Legislature passing a law preventing municipalities from banning the material outright.

In cities like Miami Beach and Coral Gables that already banned  Styrofoam, the bans were grandfathered in. Places that didn’t have regulations in place before the state law went into effect are limited to regulating polystyrene on county- or city-owned land.

In May, the city of Miami passed a similar measure regulating Styrofoam in its parks and beaches.

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