West Palm supports idea to ban plastic bags

Posted at 3:06 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 20:53:07-05

West Palm Beach city commissioners support the idea of banning plastic shopping bags.

The city says plastic bags are endangering the environment since the bags don't fully degrade in the ocean or on land.

Diane Buhler, the founder of Friends of Palm Beach, showed the effects first hand. Buhler walked along the Intracoastal Waterway on Tuesday to illustrate how plastic bags get stuck in trees and can be found deep beneath the surface.

Buhler says people need to stop using plastic bags all together.

"People assume when the put it in the (recycle) bin, that it's actually getting handled. But the plastic bag is the lightest thing that falls off the truck or flies out of a trash can. You can see them everywhere."

The vote isn't binding.  It does show that West Palm Beach supports the right for cities to choose whether plastic bags can be used at grocery stores and retail shops.

Right now state law doesn't allow cities to pass such a ban. If and when that changes West Palm Beach says they will have that discussion. California was the first state in the country to impose a ban on single-use plastic bags.

So far, these are the cities in Florida signing resolutions similar to West Palm Beach:

City of Miami Beach
City Key West
City of Lake Worth
City of Hallandale Beach
Village of Key Biscayne
City of Fernandina Beach
City of Satellite Beach
Town of Melbourne Beach
North Bay Village
Town of Surfside
Town of Bay Harbour Islands
Village of Bal Harbour
Village of Pinecrest
City of Bonita Springs
City of Coconut Creek

This story was updated to clarify that West Palm supports the idea of banning plastic bags but cannot on its own pass a law outlawing them.