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Hallandale Beach bans Styrofoam along its coastline

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Broward County Planning Council 2/2012

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Hallandale Beach bans Styrofoam along its coastline

ban on styrofoam

Starting in May, Stryofoam will be banned from Hallandale's beach in an effort to stop litter and help the environment. (Peter F. Dobens, courtesy)

By Susannah BryanSun Sentinelcontact the reporter

All things Styrofoam – think cups and coolers – no longer welcome at Hallandale's beach

Hallandale Beach first city in Broward to ban Styrofoam at beach

Did you know Styrofoam takes more than a century to biodegrade? Hallandale Beach does

You might want to leave that Styrofoam cup at home.

Bring it to the beach and you risk a $50 fine.

Cups, coolers and containers made of the "dirty foam" — known for contributing to pollution along the coast — will be banned from the sands of Hallandale Beach as soon as May.

City commissioners initially approved the ban Wednesday and are expected to affirm that in a final vote May 6.

Styrofoam, said by experts to take hundreds of years to decompose, has also been outlawed by Miami Beach, New York City and San Francisco.

In Broward County , Hallandale Beach will be the first to ban the stuff.

"We may be the leader in Broward County , but we are just on the wave," said City Commissioner Keith London, who proposed the ban. "This is where we live. It's about setting a precedent and being the first city in Broward County to say we're stepping up to the plate."

Tamarac resident Douglas Young praised city officials for doing something to help the environment.

"Be a trend setter, be a leader and go for it," he said.

Under London's proposal, the ban would have covered all public places, including city parks and City Hall.

Mayor Joy Cooper argued it made more sense to ban Styrofoam at the beach, where it is more likely to wind up in the ocean and harm sea life.

Cooper also proposed the city itself stop using all products made of Styrofoam — a key change to the ordinance that won ready support from the commission.

The ban inspired no angry protests, but was not without opponents.

Two Styrofoam salesmen, one from Pompano Beach and another from Atlanta, spoke against the ban. Any claims that Styrofoam can't be recycled are wrong, they said.

Eric Watts, who works for Crush Recycling in Miami Gardens, warned of dire consequences.

"It sounds like you're doing a good thing, but you're actually hurting the economy," he said. "If you do decide to ban it, it will come back to haunt you. Everyone will feel the economic impact."

Commissioner Anthony Sanders initially objected to the ban, ridiculing the idea of being fined for carrying a Styrofoam cup from Dunkin' Donuts.

The coffee chain is in the process of removing Styrofoam cups from shops where bans are in effect and says it will do the same in Hallandale Beach.

Styrofoam users will get a reprieve until mid-summer.

The city plans to give out warnings for the first 30 to 60 days.

At the mayor's request, commissioners earmarked $50,000 toward an anti-litter campaign. The city plans to hire college students on summer break to walk the beach and remind people not to litter.

"That's where we are going to change behavior," Cooper said.

sbryan@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4554

Read the original storyhttp://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-styrofoam-ban-hallandale-vote-20150416-story.html

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