Over the last few years, there has been a massive shift in the type of products consumers and businesses are using. Due to increasing solid waste pollution across the planet and a lack of understanding in recycling practices many corporations and governments at all levels have chosen to either limit or ban the use of single-use plastic items such as plastic water bottles, plastic straws, balloons, plastic bags, and cutlery.
Plastic has become incredibly pervasive throughout Earth’s natural environments as plastics never truly go away, they just break down into smaller and smaller pieces until they become microscopic pieces scattered about our soil, waters, and even air. Virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exist. It is estimated that up to 12.7 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year. This is the equivalent of a dump truck load worth of plastic being dumped into the ocean every minute. If current trends continue, it is believed that pound for pound there will be more plastic in the oceans than there will be fish.
To date, only about 9% of plastics have been recycled, 12% have been incinerated, and the remaining 79% is in either landfills or the environment. Plastic pollution must be stopped and it can start right here in Satellite Beach.
In an effort to reduce plastic pollution, improve waste management, and be an environmental leader, the City of Satellite Beach adopted Resolution No. 1002 in June of 2018, which encourages local business and residents alike to discontinue the usage of single-use plastic straws in favor of eco-friendly alternatives like metal or paper straws or to provide a straw by request service so as to still meet the needs of those who still require them.
As per the City’s Sustainability Action Plan Green Achievement Target #12, all City event logistics are attempting to discontinue the use single plastic items like bags or cups and only use metal, paper, or other forms of eco-friendly material that are reusable, compostable, or recyclable. Balloon (and lantern) releases are prohibited at City events as if released they can harm wildlife and can become litter once they deflate and come back to the ground.
Any vendor who attends and participates at a City event is expected to abide by City regulations and is not to serve or use any single-use plastic items or Styrofoam as laid out in Satellite Beach’s rental contract, which specifically states under its “environmental protection” section:
It is prohibited for any person, firm, or corporation to intentionally release, organize the release or intentionally cause to be released any balloons or lanterns into the atmosphere. These items pose a danger and nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals.
In accordance with City code, Chapter 26, Article VIII - Environmental Protections, regulating the prohibition of Styrofoam. All renters and participants agree to not sell, use, dispense, give away, provide food in, or offer the use of expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam at any and all city locations and facilities.
In accordance with City Resolution No. 1002. All renters and participants are asked to discontinue the use of plastic straws, plastic stir sticks and similar plastic items in working toward a cleaner and safer environment, beach, ocean and Indian River Lagoon.
The City of Satellite Beach encourages and supports efforts by its residents to reduce their plastic usage and optimize their waste stream. Use cloth bags instead of plastic ones. Purchase a metal reusable water bottle instead of continually buying plastic ones. Recycle what you can and reuse items where possible. The best way to reduce plastic pollution is to just not use plastic in the first place.