Tonight the St. Pete Beach, Florida City Commission votes to allow hotels to serve alcohol to their guests renting waterside cabanas. This will create a waste stream of plastic lids and cups (straws are banned) precariously close to the surf.
What can I do? 1) Email the city commissioners, city manager, and public works director (emails and messages below).
2) Attend the Commission meeting tonight at 6 p.m. (155 Corey Avenue St. Pete Beach, FL 33706) and use your 3 minutes to speak about this issue.
Who should I email? City Manager: Wayne Saunders, email@example.com, 727.363.9232 Commission: Mayor Al Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 727.543.2794 Terri Finnerty, Ed.D., email@example.com, 727.641.2314 Domonick "Rick" Falkenstein, firstname.lastname@example.org, 727.888.4556 Ward Friszolowski, email@example.com, 727.642.8296 Melinda Pletcher, firstname.lastname@example.org, 727.455.6633 Public Works Director, email@example.com
What should I say? ** I am concerned that the new privilege extended to guests of hotels and resorts will result in an increase in plastic trash pollution on the beach adding to the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic trash already floating in our oceans. I urge the Commission to amend the ordinance to require a phased-in conversion to bioplastic service-ware products that degrade in the environment in months, not centuries.
** Waste containment efforts on the beach are already overwhelmed. The ordinance should make provision to expand its containment efforts to accommodate this new volume of trash.
**The Commission should amend the ordinance to provide for methodical monitoring of plastic litter traceable back to its hotel source and penalties if that volume of litter exceeds a certain threshold. ** Banning straws is a good first step, but it’s important that we also regulate plastic cups and lids: keeping our beach clean is a priority for our environment and for the nine billion dollars of tourist income Pinellas County brings in every year. ** Federally funded sand for beach nourishment should not be used as a conveyor belt for plastic pollution into Gulf waters.