ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. – St. Augustine Beach moved a step closer to banning plastic bags when the city commissioners approved a voluntary ban during Monday night's meeting.
Attorney Jane West presented an ordinance that would prevent the use, sale and distribution of single-use plastic bags by retailers in St. Augustine Beach. That ordinance, as well as an additional ordinance to ban plastic straws and Styrofoam, will be reviewed and presented for a first reading in March.
In the meantime, commissioners approved a motion to have a voluntary plastic bag ban go into effect in April.
Several businesses in or near St. Augustine Beach are already choosing to go green and stop using plastic or Styrofoam. The voluntary ban encourages more businesses to do so and also to consider reusable bags.
North Florida Coastal Caretakers said it’s pushed for a ban on plastic bags and straws in St. Augustine Beach before but it’s never been successful getting a permanent ordinance passed.
The renewed push comes as Florida lawmakers get ready to discuss a bill this spring that would ban grocery stores and other food businesses from using plastic bags and single-use straws statewide.
If the bill is passed, violators would face fines up to $500 for first-time offenders.