ORLANDO, Fla. - As of October 1, the City of Orlando banned all single-use food service products in city-owned-and-operated spaces.
That means no more plastic straws, bags, utensils, plates and Styrofoam boxes.
“It’s the right thing to do and we want to be part of the solution, not the problem, so while plastic is much cheaper and holds up better, no complaints there, it’s just the damage it’s doing to the oceans and landfills and micro-plastics. It’s time to move away from it,” said Jan Taylor, Levy Catering.
The two largest venues being impacted are the Amway Center and Camping World Stadium.
Levy Catering provides food service for both.
The company reports using 300,000 of each of the food service items every year, that includes utensils, plates and cups.
Levy has now transitioned to compostable alternatives.
“It’s all made to break down over time, which is what you want,” Taylor said.
Bamboo plates, corn-based utensils and paper straws - just to name a few of the alternative products.
“We’ve converted to all materials that are plant-based and can be recycled,” Taylor said.
But, it’s coming at a price. The eco-friendly bamboo plates cost the caterer 12 cents, compared to 3 cents for plastic plates. That is four times more expensive.
“As these become more prevalent in the marketplace, you’ll see the cost come down," Taylor said. "That’s traditionally what happens."
Levy Catering isn’t the only company having to transition.
The ordinance requires vendors for any special event on city property to comply, like on the Camping World Stadium grounds and Lake Eola Park.
Anyone found in violation of the ban could risk getting their permit revoked or rejected the following year.