Movement against plastic use reaches St. Augustine

A recycling can on St. George Street is overflowing with recyclables, while the three trash cans are empty.

A recycling can on St. George Street is overflowing with recyclables, while the three trash cans are empty.

By Kyra Moree |

Plastic bans protect the aquatic and environmental assets and are designed to stop the use of non-recyclable plastic items, which have a harmful impact on the environment.

These bans prohibit retail sales establishments from making available plastic checkout bags, plastic water bottles, plastic straws and plastic disposable food containers. 

Many areas have already put plastic bans into effect, and some individuals work on keeping plastic out of their lives. Flagler College student Courtney Cox is active in research studies about the harmful effects of plastic. She often incorporates the knowledge she has on the effects of plastics into her daily life.

“I actually get biodegradable straws and when I go out to eat I bring them with me and try to pass that along to my friends,” Cox said. 

It is possible to replace plastic use on a daily basis. Re-using is a simple way to start your transition to biodegradable products. Recycling old plastic bags makes a big difference, and receptacles are available in front of stores like Publix. Being aware of what gets thrown away in the trash versus in a recycling bin is helpful knowledge to have.

“When I go grocery shopping I bring a huge reused Marshall’s bag and fit all my things in it verse taking home 30 plastic bags,” Cox said.  

Barley Republic Public House is an example of the local movement to use eco-friendly containers. They use recyclable paper food containers which sparked other local businesses to make the switch to paper products.  

“We always recycle and throw away the smallest amount of plastic as we can,” said James Guernoe, one of the restaurant’s waiters.

Customers thank the employees when they bring to-go boxes and see they are made from paper, he said. Whenever Guernoe brings out the to-go boxes, people often make a positive comment about the paper to-go container. 

“It’s always a positive thing when you see a lot of local places going paper based,” Guernoe said. 

Paper products are in high demand. There has been a huge movement to switch over to eco-friendly products in the community. Some local stores cannot keep up with the high demand for paper products. 

Winn-Dixie runs out of paper bags frequently, employees said. They have a huge variety of people that shop there.  Customers don’t always have the choice of getting brown bags because they run out so quickly. Customer service worker Billie Jo informed me of some interesting facts. 

“We order them two times a week and usually order one bundle which is equal to five hundred paper bags that normally only last us about a week,” Billie Jo, a customer associate at Winn-Dixie said. 

People are ready for a change it is shown through the high demand of paper products. The plastic bans will help make plastics unavailable to businesses.

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