Green Chamber Joins State Business and Environmental Leaders as Agriculture Commissioner Fried Promotes Phase Out of Polystyrene Products

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 15, 2021) – Today, in conjunction with the Annual Florida Energy and Climate Change Summit, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried began pursuing a new rule-making process to mandate a phase-out of plastic foam packaging by thousands of businesses regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Fried is proposing a rule that would require businesses regulated by her department — and she said there are 40,000 — to submit reports on how much foam packaging is used each year. She said that would give the department baseline data. The proposal then would mandate the businesses reduce that amount incrementally each year by switching to biodegradable, safer alternative packaging materials like bamboo and hemp.

Fried joined business and environmental leaders including North Florida Green Chamber Executive Director Christina Kelcourse of Jacksonville after a rule-making workshop in Orlando on a proposal to force stepped reductions in polystyrene plastic packaging used at grocery stores, food markets, gas station convenience stores and other businesses regulated by her department.

The proposal would have food retailers report polystyrene use, and then meet reduction goals.

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The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce and Kelcourse issued a statement during the joint media conference:

“The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce supports efforts by the business community to reduce and improve their waste stream, specifically plastic products that affect human health. We strongly encourage businesses to seek ways to reduce waste and offer them resources to do so in a way that limits the impact to their bottom line.

 The Green Chamber’s mission is to make it cool and convenient to be green. We demonstrate this mission through our programs and policy efforts, to make it easier for businesses to implement sustainable choices.

 One of these tools, to help businesses reduce plastic waste and avoid green washing, is our Buyers’ Club. The Buyers’ Club is a carefully sourced collection of sustainable products that replaces some of the most common items that contribute to this issue. Examples are coffee cups, to go containers (such as clamshells) and to-go bags.

 The Green Chamber looks forward to continuing our efforts in improving the health of our community and being a resource for more businesses looking to reduce their plastic waste.”

The rule would target the foam packaging that has been at the forefront of environmental and public health concerns for decades, as it is not biodegradable and is made up of chemicals that are poisonous to humans and to animals.

Details would evolve through the public workshop and hearing process.

ABOUT THE NORTH FLORIDA GREEN CHAMBER COMMERCE

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient!  Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce. Visit www.northfloridagreenchamber.org.



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