Orlando considering vendor ban on plastics straws

The City of Orlando may be getting a little more “green.”

In an attempt to cut back on non-biodegradable waste, the City Council will vote next week whether to prohibit vendors from using Styrofoam, plastic straws and plastic bags on city property.

“This policy essentially covers all city facilities, city venues, city parks and all affiliated and all events that take our an 18A permit, so all of the marches, races, the big events at Lake Eola park,” said Chris Castro, with the City of Orlando.

That includes the Amway Center, Dr. Phillips Center, Camping World Stadium and food trucks on city streets. The city says the switch shouldn’t be much of a financial burden on the vendors.

“Most of the products today that are alternatives to non-biodegradable products are cost competitive, meaning price neutral,” said Castro.

For any business or event that violates to proposed ban, the city says it could not renew contracts, keep deposits for events or decline a future application for an event.  People we spoke to Downtown say they think the policy is a move in the right direction.

“It’s not that big of a difference, if it’s going to cause a big difference on the earth then I think it’s a good idea,” said Erica Wooding.

“People will start using their own, bring their tumblers with sippy lids and bring their own metal straws and it’ll just be a transition and we’ll be better off in the long run,” said Charles Rutterbush.

But not everyone thinks the change will cut back on waste.

“Those paper straws are also going to be on the floor and then in the lake,” said Jackie Wilinson.

When asked why a city-wide ban would not be implementied, Castro replied,  “We want to really roll this out internally at first and then see how the reception is with our constituents, and figure out if this is something we want to explore on a broader scale.” 

The ban goes before City Council on Monday, and if approved, it will go into effect October 1. The city hopes businesses will follow in this green initiative and switch as well.