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Tallahassee Faces Differing Options On Plastic Straws

clear cups and blue-and-white striped plastic straws lined up on a table in rows of three.
Photo by Danielle MacInnes

A petition urging Tallahassee commissioners not to ban plastic straws is gaining momentum. It has more than 1,000 signees.  Now two, city commissioners are asking the body to consider sustainable alternatives to plastic straws.

“The city has more important things to be doing than worrying about plastic straws,” says petition sponsor and local Republican Party Chairman Evan Power. Its’ not the role of city government to decide what people can and can’t have

Power says commissioners should shift their focus elsewhere, “like crime and economic development”.

Tallahassee Commissioner Diane Williams-Cox initially brought up the plastic straw issue at a commission meeting earlier this year.

“We’ve got to begin to pay attention to what we’re doing to the environment and to some this may be a small thing but we’ve got to start somewhere,” she said.

There has yet to be a decision on the matter, but Commissioner Jeremy Matlow says he's looking forward to community input.

“Let’s look at what other communities are doing to try and get our citizens engaged and try to move away from plastic straws. We see a lot of communities go to straws by request only…some do bans on plastic and use alternatives like paper straws. So that’s what we’re kind of tryna do, is just get the conversation started in Tallahassee and see what the community would support and move from ther.,”

Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill that would have prohibited county or local governments from regulating plastic straws.