The City of Tallahassee adopted a single-use plastics policy at the June 2 city commission meeting. The policy restricts the utilization of single-use plastics for all food and beverage service at City events and on City property. The new policy is expected to have a fiscal impact on the City’s expenses with an estimated increase in cost of $50,000 a year.
The policy focuses on restricting the distribution and use of the single-use plastics and promotes an alternative such as paper or biodegradable plastics, also known as bioplastic. The increase in cost is due to the transitioning from single-use plastics to a more environmentally friendly option.
In a price comparison provided at the meeting, an average plastic clamshell container cost $0.13 and a bioplastic clamshell container cost $0.41, a difference of $0.28.
This change comes as the City of Tallahassee continues to increase its efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. Over the past several years the city has distributed thousands of reusable shopping bags and water bottles to increase public awareness on the effects of plastic on our environment.
It has been estimated that 79 percent of 8.3 billion tons of plastic produced between 1950 and 2020 ended up in landfills or in the environment, according to a study done by the United Nations Environmental Program in 2018. Of that 8.3 billion tons of plastic only nine percent was recycled.