Proposed legislation working its way through Tallahassee would allow local governments and other agencies that manage public recreation lands to ban smoking because of the litter generated by cigarette butts, which contain small amounts of plastic waste.
It is verifiably true that anyone who has participated in a beach cleanup or any other kind of litter cleanup in Florida is likely to encounter cigarette butts. They often rank high in numbers if not in volume.
This legislation raises an interesting question, however.
If the Florida Legislature is really interested in reducing plastic waste on public conservation lands, especially our popular beaches, why do they focus only one type of single-use plastic and ignore the rest?
That would be straws, plastic grocery bags, balloons, fast food wrappers and cups etc. etc. etc.
As you know, some responsible local government officials have tried to take action on these other littler issues, only to be threatened with sanctions by legislators backed by the petrochemical/plastic lobby.
There seems to be a disconnect here, but that’s Tallahassee for you.