92% of Florida Voters Are Concerned About Single-Use Plastic
Oceana Releases New Poll, Calls on Gov. DeSantis to Allow Cities, Counties to Pass Plastic Policies
Press Release Date: July 7, 2022
Location: Tampa, Fla
Today, Oceana released the results of a new poll finding that 87% of Florida voters support local, state, and national policies that reduce single-use plastic. A staggering 92% of registered Florida voters are concerned about single-use plastic products, as well as plastic pollution and its impact on the environment (91%).
The Florida legislature has increasingly restricted the ability of cities and counties to govern by passing state laws that preempt local policies to regulate single-use plastic products, including plastic bags and plastic foam. Oceana’s survey results indicate that Florida voters support the kind of local regulation currently banned by state lawmakers. Additionally, 78% support policies that reduce the use of plastic bags, and 76% support policies that reduce the use of plastic foam foodware.
“Floridians want to reduce single-use plastics, and Florida communities should have a say in addressing the plastics crisis that directly threatens their coastlines and economies,” said Hunter Miller, Oceana’s Florida field representative. “With residents’ clear support of local single-use plastic policies, state lawmakers must end this disturbing trend of preempting local action on plastics. The state legislature must eliminate the current preemption laws on plastics and prohibit future preemption of local plastic policies so cities and counties can once again be part of the solution — and remain that way.”
Florida has 8,436 miles of coastline that it depends on to support 659,000 jobs and over $43 billion in GDP in its coastal tourism, fishing, and recreation industries. All of that is put at risk by the staggering amount of plastic entering our oceans and other waterways. In 2019, scientists revealed that, in Tampa Bay alone, there were 4 billion microplastic particles floating in the water and 3 trillion sitting at the bottom of the bay. Florida’s plastic problem impacts the state’s endangered sea turtles and is an added threat for the threatened Florida manatee, which is struggling with record-setting death rates that have made headlines this year.
Key findings among surveyed registered Florida voters include:
- 87% support local and state policies that reduce single-use plastic.
- 88% support national policies that reduce single-use plastic.
- 92% are concerned about single-use plastic products.
- 72% are even more concerned about single-use plastics after learning that less than 9% of the United States’ plastic waste is recycled.
- Note: The U.S. Department of Energy has since announced that the country’s recycling rate dropped even lower — below 6% — in 2021.
- 91% are concerned about plastic pollution and its impact on the environment and our oceans.
- 84% are concerned with the amount of plastic items used in food delivery and takeout.
- 82% want their elected officials to support policies that reduce plastic pollution.
- 79% support policies that reduce the use of plastic beverage bottles.
- 78% support policies that reduce the use of plastic bags.
- 77% support policies that reduce the use of plastic straws.
- 76% support policies that reduce the use of plastic takeout containers and plastic foam foodware.
- 75% support policies that reduce the use of plastic packaging from online shopping.
Oceana’s poll, conducted by the nonpartisan polling company Ipsos, surveyed 390 adults in Florida between Nov. 5 and 9, 2021.
Scientists estimate that 33 billion pounds of plastic wash into the ocean every year. That equates to about two garbage trucks’ worth of plastic entering the ocean every minute. Plastic has been found in every corner of the world and has turned up in drinking water, beer, salt, honey, and more. It’s also one of the greatest contributors to climate change. In fact, if plastic were a country, it would be the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increased amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences.
To learn more about Oceana’s campaign to stop plastic pollution, please visit usa.oceana.org/plastic
Please use this link to share the release: https://usa.oceana.org/press-releases/92-of-florida-voters-are-concerned-about-single-use-plastic/
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit USA.Oceana.org to learn more.