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St. Petersburg reveals campaign to eventually eliminate plastic straw usage

City officials hope the campaign encourages greater discussion about single-use plastics, like utensils and cup lids.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The city of St. Petersburg revealed a citywide campaign Tuesday to reduce and eventually eliminate plastic straw usage.

City officials hope the "No Straw St. Pete" campaign encourages greater discussion about single-use plastics, like utensils and cup lids.

"I think {limiting} all single-use plastics should be looked at and considered," said District Six city council member Gina Driscoll on Tuesday.

Driscoll also introduced the campaign's website NoStrawsStPete.com.

"One of the reasons that I decided to do this is because straws have become one of the top polluters of our waterways," Driscoll said.

Driscoll and Mayor Rick Kriseman appeared at Tuesday's news conference along with spokespeople from several St. Petersburg businesses, including Bank of the Ozarks, Kahwa Coffee, 2nd on Second, Cassis Wooden Rooster, The Mill, Intermezzo Cafe, Il Ritorno, Station House, Cordova inn, Barefoot Beach Club, Hotel Cabana, Ichicoro, Tryst, Banyan Cafe, Three Birds Tavern, Pom Poms, The Avenue, Park and Rec, King's Street Food and Sea Salt among others.

"I understand Gina {Driscoll} is building support for an ordinance around plastic straws, and we're not sure what that ordinance might look like yet, but regardless, this is an important conversation to be having," Kriseman said.

Treasure Island city commissioners stopped short of passing its own ordinance in 2016, partly because it could have a negative effect on businesses, mainly restaurants.

The reason some restaurants might not support a plastic straw ban is because 100 plastic straws cost about $0.98 at retail price. However, 100 environmentally-friendly paper straws cost about $8.23.

The city of St. Petersburg will continue its discussion on reducing and possibly eliminating plastic straws at 10:30 a.m. Thursday during the Health, Energy, Resiliency and Sustainability Committee meeting.

Several U.S. cities have banned or limited the use of plastic straws in restaurants such as:

• Fort Myers, Florida

• Miami Beach, Florida

• Seattle

• Malibu, California

• Davis, California

• San Luis Obispo, California

Watch: Click or tap here to watch Tuesday's news conference

Related: St. Petersburg to discuss restrictions on plastic straws

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