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Surfrider Foundation

Coral Gables plastic bag ban will force lawsuit — exactly as planned

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As A-Team’s Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith often says: “I love it when a plan comes together.” If current momentum holds, starting May 9, Coral Gables will become the first Florida city to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. It’s a move directly contradicting Florida law, which gives the state regulatory purview over the issue. And Coral Gables’ ban, if successful, will no doubt provoke a lawsuit — exactly as planned. Why? Among those happiest over the prospect of lawyering up — beyond…

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Surfrider’s passion for ‘local control’ in ban the bag debate rings false, is opportunistic spin

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Local control, the notion that communities should have a certain degree of “home rule” in managing its own affairs, has become one of the hot-button issues in both Florida and across the country. As part of the “ban the bag” movement, however, the rallying cry of “local control” is in danger of trivialization, made almost meaningless. On one side are organizations like American Legislative Exchange Council and the American City and County Exchange — highly regarded sister groups that list…

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Enviro group fronting Florida’s ‘ban the bag’ effort spends next to nothing, accused of skirting lobbying rules

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Single-use plastic bags, found at nearly every retail, grocery and convenience store in the nation, are now the latest target of environmentalists, as well as by state and local lawmakers. However, in the case of the leading nonprofit behind Florida’s growing “ban the bag” movement, something is not quite right. The Surfrider Foundation, headquartered in San Clemente, began as a small environmental organization to “champion surf and sand” of California beaches. Thirty years later, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit has evolved into…

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Bill doesn’t lift prohibition on plastic bag bans but does allow pilot programs

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A pilot program is a small step — but it is a step forward nonetheless, critics of disposable plastic shopping bags said Wednesday. A Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill that allows coastal communities to create a 2-1/2-year pilot program to regulate or ban plastic bags. Critics say plastic bags become litter that choke waterways and often are eaten by sea turtles and other marine life because they look like jellyfish. California enacted a statewide ban in 2014. But…

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