Community, Environment, News, Politics

Coral Gables ordinance up for vote to ban plastic bags

University of Miami students getting food to-go at dining locations across campus may need to bring their own eco-friendly bags if a Coral Gables city ordinance banning plastic bags is approved.

If the ordinance passes a second vote on March 28, Coral Gables will become the first city in Florida to ban plastic bags.

As of right now, students can get to-go meals in plastic bags from either of the two dining halls on campus, as well as from Outtakes and locations in the food court. Chartwells School Dining Services, the university’s dining service provider, would have to find alternatives to using the plastic bags.

“UM Dining learned about the ordinance recently and is looking into sustainable options (i.e. recyclable paper or reusable) for bags within these locations if the ban goes through,” said Amanda Armstrong, director of marketing and guest experience for Chartwells. “UM Dining was proactive in instituting a sustainable option when the ban for Styrofoam went into effect in the city of Coral Gables.”

GreenU Sustainability Manager Teddy L’Houtellier said the move away from these products is a necessity for humans and the environment.

Recycling plastic bags has become an eco-friendly way to discard the bags without affecting the environment. Land-based waste, including plastic, accounts for approximately 80 percent of global marine pollution, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

L’Houtellier said that though recycling plastic is a good alternative to simply throwing away plastic in the garbage, and the steps Coral Gables is taking are the best ones to make sure plastic debris does not end up in the ocean.

“Honestly, recycling bags is really energy-intensive,” he said. “What we should do is make sure we use natural resources in a smart, sustainable way. Plastic is the opposite of that.”

The ban does provide exceptions for businesses. For example, if a consumer provides the plastic bag, the items can be stowed inside by the retailer without penalty. However, if a retailer violates the law by providing plastic bags, it could be fined anywhere between $50-500.

Senior Matthew Dull said he wouldn’t mind having to carry around his own reusable bags. Dull said he already takes his own bags when shopping because he knows the damage a single shopping trip can have on the environment.

“I used to work at a grocery store,” Dull said. “You go through several thousand plastic bags in a day and virtually none of them get recycled. It’s a huge threat to the environment. Any way that we can reduce single-use plastic is a great thing.”

The next Coral Gables City Commission meeting to vote on the ban will be 9 a.m. March 28 in the City Hall Commission Chambers at 405 Biltmore Way.

March 22, 2017

Reporters

Amanda Herrera

Amanda Herrera can be reached via email at aherrera@themiamihurricane.com and through Twitter at @_AmandaHerrera.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Former NFL and University of Miami star Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested Thursday for numerous allege ...

Trevor Darling's perseverance paid off. After not being selected in the NFL Draft, the former U ...

Father's Day has never been a big holiday in the Larranaga household because basketball always ...

The start to former Miami Hurricanes defensive end Chad Thomas' NFL career is going through a m ...

At one section of Miami's Richmond Park, Hurricanes offensive line coach Stacy Searels taught a ...

Teachers tackle challenging questions at the Holocaust Studies Summer Institute. ...

A University of Miami lecturer explores the role of the front porch in black communities. ...

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, two public health sciences students traveled to Puerto Rico to ...

Colder Atlantic temperatures could change hurricane season forecasts, but the trend isn't expec ...

UM neurorehabilitation expert David S. Kushner, M.D., who helps modern patients recover from brain s ...

An outstanding showing at the USATF Championships earned Symone Mason a trip to the World U20 Champi ...

UM alum returns to lead Canes' MBB strength and conditioning efforts. ...

Amy Deem was recognized for the third time as the ACC Women's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of ...

During the 2017-18 school year, Miami had student-athletes from 17 of the 32 countries in the FIFA W ...

The University of Miami track and field program got off to a strong start at the 2018 USATF Junior O ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.