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Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried visits Sarasota to talk phasing out Polystyrene in Florida stores and markets

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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried introduced that her division will work to section out using polystyrene merchandise in Florida grocery stores, markets, comfort stores and different companies.

The use of those merchandise, although cheap for shoppers, is lethal for the atmosphere and wildlife. Studies have proven that polystyrene is linked to severe well being situations by leaching into meals and drinks, by no means absolutely disappears from marine environments, and takes at the very least 500 years to decompose in landfills, the place it includes 30 p.c of trash. Six U.S. states and cities in 13 states have enacted bans on polystyrene, encouraging using readily-available different packaging. Alternative sources of packaging embrace hemp fibers and sugarcane bagasse, each of that are grown in Florida.

“Polystyrene may be convenient, but there is a hidden danger to public health from these disposable consumer products. Chemicals in polystyrene are not only linked to human and animal health concerns, but because these petroleum-based products take at least 500 years to decompose, their negative effects continue long after they’re thrown away,” stated Commissioner Fried. “As Florida’s consumer protection and food safety agency, we have an opportunity to help consumers and companies make a positive change. That’s why I’m excited to announce that we have started the rulemaking process to phase out the use of polystyrene food packaging at the 40,000 grocery stores, markets, and convenience stores that we regulate in Florida. By increasing demand for cost-effective alternative products, this is a huge opportunity to create Florida jobs, at Florida businesses, using Florida-grown crops to create next-generation products that are made in Florida. This vision to phase out polystyrene until reaching zero within this decade is a monumental change for consumers, health, and the environment, joining a third of U.S. states in taking action on this issue.”

The division’s draft rule, 5K-4.045, would start a multi-year phase-out of polystyrene packaging starting in 2022, with a most allowable quantity of polystyrene to be bought or distributed reducing annually. The draft rule would additionally require regulated entities to file an annual report of the quantity of polystyrene bought or distributed that yr.

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