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Tampa looking to reduce styrofoam, single-use plastics on city property, at city events

Posted at 6:01 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 13:58:08-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa city leaders are taking steps to stop extra garbage from going into local landfills.

The city council voted on Thursday to pass a resolution that would drastically reduce the use of Styrofoam cups and single-use plastics on city properties and at major city events like the Gasparilla Music Festival. One example of this is that instead of a Styrofoam cup, you may find a paper one in its place.

Councilman Guido Maniscalco is leading the effort on this resolution and says these items are not recyclable. He's also encouraging the city and its residents to think long term to protect our environment.

"You think about the lifespan of that Styrofoam container that you may have used, you know, for 30 minutes to eat your meal out over to take something home with but how long that lasts. In the environment," he said.

So far, Maniscalco said the city is not addressing the issue of plastic straws or plastic bags as a part of this resolution. They determined that because of COVID-19 and the hardships it has put on businesses, now was not the time to take up that issue.

However, he said they are looking to work with Tampa's business community and grocery stores to educate and work with them to reduce their use of Styrofoam and single-use plastics -- without regulation.

"I think in the future we can we get partnering with different grocery stores and retailers so that they can implement on their own changes," he said.

Keep in mind this resolution only would impact major events only. So things like the expanded outdoor dining into the city's right of way due to COVID-19 would not have to follow this. Also, small events like a birthday party or something similar in a city park or property would be exempt.