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Jupiter Beach Commission takes stand on plastic straws

Posted at 11:53 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 04:21:56-04

The Jupiter Beach Commission symbolically denounced single-use, plastic straws in a 7-0 vote to recommend to the town council to do the same. The resolution doesn’t ban the straw as environmentalists had hoped, but an ordinance doing so in the future can’t be ruled out. 

“I think the committee feels that maybe it’s not just quite the right time for an ordinance, but let’s see if we can make that happen and let’s see if we can demonstrate Jupiter’s leadership,” said committee chairwoman Gail Whipple. 

Marilu Cristina Flores wrote up a potential ordinance, following the lead of cities like Miami Beach and Davis, Calif., which makes it illegal for restaurants to provide single-use plastic straws. She lobbied Jupiter to pass it. 

“It’s a win for us. We’re really happy that this conversion got the entire town to come out,” she said. 

Because they’re lightweight and small, plastic straws are difficult to dispose of properly. They often end up on the beach or in the ocean. 

At Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a Juno Beach-based sea turtle rescue, plastic showed up in the stomach of every baby turtle that died last year. 

Guanabanas restaurant in Jupiter has been straw by request since last month. 

“When we’re taking drink orders, we’re asking our servers to ask the guests if they would like the skip the straw,” said Matt Huff, a floor manager. 

Recently, Starbucks and Marriott announced they will stop providing plastic straws in the coming years as awareness grows. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing it everywhere,” Huff said. 

The recommendation by the beach committee will be passed along to the town council for them to decide on the resolution.