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  • Mark Baratelli, Editor

Publix Banned Orlando From Banning Styrofoam

Supporting a self-proclaimed "NRA sellout" (his words not ours) isn't the only act Publix has done that, for some, is problematic. They prevent almost every city government in Florida from ever enacting a styrofoam ban. Ever.


This story was written August 10, 2017. We are re-sharing it due to the recent attention Publix has been getting in the news.


By Mark Baratelli


A portion of Publix shoppers are reacting negatively to the news that the giant grocery chain has given over $600,000 to a person who is a self-proclaimed "NRA sellout" (his words not ours). There's a #boycottpublix hashtag now on social media. Here are some more choices Publix has made readers may also want to know about.


Did you know Orlando is not allowed to create a city-wide ban on styrofoam? And did you know your Publix can be thanked for that? In 2016 Publix spent $1 million "lobbying lawmakers to pass legislation that would pre-empt local governments from enacting bans on Styrofoam containers" according to the Miami Herald. The legislation passed. No city in Florida except Miami can pass anti-styrofoam laws. 


It's not illegal in Florida (for now) for businesses to provide styrofoam alternatives. It's just illegal for cities to enact bans on these products. Stores can purchase carriers, cups and plates that do not contain styrofoam if they wish.

And that's just a small display of their employee-owned power.

  1. Publix has more cash and investments than Walmart

  2. Publix is more profitable than Walmart

  3. Publix is the 8th largest privately-owned corporation in the United States

  4. Publix has over 774 locations with 33 in Orlando alone.

Related, what about plastic grocery bags? Are Florida cities allowed to ban those? No. There's a ban on banning those too. No City in Florida (with over 100,000 residents) can create a ban on plastic bags. The rule went onto the books in 2008 and remains in place to this day according to Sun Sentinel. You can thank the Florida Retail Foundation for that one. 


There are ways to lower the use of plastic bags. One is a ban. The other is a tax. If a shopper wants a bag, they pay for the bag. This is similar to the IKEA shopping bag model. If you want one of their blue shopping totes to carry your paper furniture to your car, you pay 75 cents... or $2,145. 

So rest assured styrofoam and plastic bag lovers: you'll never have to carry your groceries in a paper bag or hold a pound of beef on a cardboard tray.

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