ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. – In March, city commissioners in St. Augustine Beach will discuss two ordinances that would ban restaurants, supermarkets and other retailers from giving customers plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam containers.
Commissioners already approved a voluntary plastic bag ban, which is scheduled to begin in April. The voluntary ban is intended to encourage more businesses to go green.
One of those businesses is Little Margie's FA Cafe. The restaurant owners said over the past several months, they've been phasing out single-use straws, only giving them to customers who request one.
"I think everybody in this area is environmentally aware that some changes need to be made, so, I think everybody is pushing for that," said Jay Underwood, one of the owners of the cafe.
The two ordinances that are up for their first reading on March 4 are modeled after ordinances that have passed in other Florida cities, including Coral Gables, St. Petersburg and Gainesville.
Jacob Clark said he often visits the beach and stands behind the ordinances.
"It's not like plastic is a necessity," Clark said. "I think I would be for it, for sure."
Out on the water, Captain Adam Morley said he is frequently pulling up plastic bags and Styrofoam cups. He said the issue is getting worse.
"We need action on this. This is a global problem," Morley said.