A certain kind of drinking will soon be prohibited on Miami Beach. Last week, city commissioners amended litter laws to include the banning of plastic drinking straws. The mayor must still sign off on the ordinance.
Vice-Mayor Jerry Libbin and Commissioners Jorge Exposito and Deede Weithorn were behind the amendment, which expands the existing definition of litter to include straws. Current fines for trash discarded on the beach are between $50 and $500.
With thousands of plastic straws spiking up along local beaches, City of Miami Beach spokesperson Nannette Rodriguez told HuffPost Miami that the new legislation is "all towards making our city cleaner and more environmentally responsible."
But it's not like Beach police will go around surveying how you choose to rehydrate, Rodriguez confirms. "If you're out there drinking a Starbucks drink with a straw, we're not going after you."
Rodriguez says the point is to minimize this specific type of beach litter. To do that, the city is going after the major sources -- beach concessioners and nearby beach businesses.
Boucher Brothers, which has had an exclusive concession agreement for Miami Beach's public sand since 2001, have already agreed to comply and Rodriguez feels that other business will be happy to as well.
To further combat beach clutter and honor this weekend's Earth Day, Rodriguez told HuffPost Miami, the city has asked Boucher Brothers to install ash cans along the beach from 5 to 15th streets.
These genie-bottle-looking vessels are an attempt to rid the beach of cigarette butts, which don't degrade in the sun and sand.