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Coral Gables fuming over appeals court decision to reject its Styrofoam ban

August 15, 2019

Miami Herald,

August 14, 2019-

In a blow to environmentalists and several local governments, a Florida appeals court struck down a Coral Gables ordinance to ban Styrofoam containers from restaurants, supermarkets and other food establishments. The 3rd District Court of Appeals Wednesday rejected a previous ruling by a Miami-Dade County circuit judge who found Coral Gables was not prevented from banning products made with polystyrene, contrary to what the Florida Retail Federation alleged in its lawsuit challenging the city’s action.

The decision by the three-judge panel upholds a state law passed in 2016 that prohibits local governments from regulating polystyrene food containers, also known as Styrofoam, and retroactively prohibited any related government ordinances. Coral Gables Vice Mayor Vince Lago, who wrote the ordinance, said Wednesday the ruling is “a shame” and “a step in the wrong direction.” “It’s an injustice to the community we serve,” said Lago, who drives an electric car and runs his house on solar power. “We have to not only walk the walk, but talk the talk.”

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