Two Democratic lawmakers are returning to a years-long effort to allow local governments to ban single-use plastics.
Florida law currently states that “no local government, local governmental agency, or state government agency may enact any rule, regulation, or ordinance regarding use, disposition, sale, prohibition, restriction, or tax of such auxiliary containers, wrappings, or disposable plastic bags.” That provision blocks cities and counties from barring those plastics, even if such a move would be supported by local residents.
“By removing this language we give home rule back to cities and counties allowing them to decide what best fits their needs,” Stewart said in a Thursday statement supporting the legislation. “Coastal or lakefront communities may wish to ban these containers to reduce pollution that negatively affects other sectors of their economies such as tourism.”
“Removing the state’s preemption on banning single-use plastic and Polystyrene is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” added Grieco, who previously served on the Miami Beach Commission.
“As a former city official myself, I firmly believe in the power of local control, alongside the importance of protecting our environment at a place-based level. That’s why I’m proud to re-file this bill with Senator Stewart.”
During his time as a Miami Beach Commissioner, Grieco pushed to work around the state preemption. But efforts to challenge the preemption in court have failed, leaving local governments powerless to fully bans those plastics absent a change in state law.
In addition to blocking local governments from acting on single-use plastics, Republican lawmakers in 2019 tried to also stop all local bans on single-use plastic straws. Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the legislation, arguing local bans on straws have “not frustrated any state policy or harmed the state’s interest.”