Coral Gables Sued Over Styrofoam Ban

Styrofoam pollution on a beach (photo courtesy: Ian L, public domain pictures)

Florida Retail Federation has filed suit on behalf of its members to prevent the City of Coral Gables from enforcing their expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) ban. Florida Retail Federation is a powerful lobbying group representing corporations like Publix, Target, Walmart, and Super Progreso (which owns a 7-Eleven franchise in Coral Gables).

The City of Coral Gables initially approved their ordinance in December 2015, with final approval taking place on February 9, 2016 in compliance with Florida statute 166.041, which requires two public hearings and votes on ordinances before they can take effect.

Meanwhile, on March 16, 2016, Governor Rick Scott signed into law F.S. 500.90 to prohibit Florida municipalities from regulating the use or sale of polystyrene products retroactive to January 1, 2016. This prompted the City of Coral Gables to declare their initial December 2015 approval as the official ordinance date. The Federation’s lawsuit, filed on July 14, argues that the city not be allowed to back-date their ordinance, but that the State of Florida should be allowed to backdate their law. Go figure.

City of Coral Gables Polystyrene Prohibition

Expanded polystyrene, most commonly known as Styrofoam, is a petroleum by-product that is neither readily recyclable nor biodegradable and takes hundreds to thousands of years to degrade in the environment. Products that are made from expanded polystyrene can include, but are not limited to, plates, bowls, cups, containers lids, trays, coolers, ice chests, food containers, etc. It can fragment into smaller pieces that can be ingested by marine life and other wildlife, thus harming and killing them and constitutes a portion of the litter in the City’s streets, parks, public places, and waterways.

City of Coral Gables

Florida Environmental Organizations Comment

Published byMelanieDawn

Melanie Dawn Molina Wood is a Miami native currently living in the historic downtown district. She has earned her LEED Green Associate accreditation, the NAR GREEN designation, and an Eco-broker credential. She is also a proud member of the US Green Building Council, and a member of the Sierra Club. For more information about sustainability in Miami, or to connect with a real estate agent anywhere in the world, contact Melanie Dawn by text/phone at 305.801.3133, or by email at

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