Group hopes rally will convince St. Pete leaders to ban plastic bags

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA)  –  “Paper or Plastic?” A group rallying Thursday wants to limit your options at the grocery store.

One Tampa Bay area group is trying to convince St. Petersburg city leaders to ban plastic bags.

Right now, the City of Coral Gables is the only other Florida municipality to have the band already in place. But, will St. Petersburg be next?

If Davey Connor has his way, the answer is yes.

“It is convenient in a moment. But, they last for hundreds of years,” Connor told News Channel 8 Wednesday afternoon. He is the chair of the group, Suncoast Rise Above Plastics.

Connor is talking and he hopes the St. Petersburg City Council is listening.

The group is ready to rally as they fight for their cause, claiming plastic is plaguing Tampa Bay area beaches, killing marine life and stopping up our sewers. He hopes the city of St. Petersburg follows in the steps of Coral Gables

“We think that when people understand, when they’re educated, the consequences of their actions, they can change their behavior,” said Connor.

But, there are people like Alan from St. Pete Beach who tell us government should stay out of it.

“I don’t know if we need another regulation. If people just had common sense, we’d be lot better off,” he said.

Earlier this week, Publix released the following statement about plastic bags:

“Publix’s continued success depends upon sustaining our environment, the people in our company and communities, and our business. We have always been committed to the responsible use of environmental resources. We have supported legislation clarifying that the state has the authority to regulate the use of plastic bags and other containers such as polystyrene, because it is very difficult and expensive to comply with a patchwork of local ordinances regarding what we can offer to our customers. We are still determining what changes can and should be made in response to the ordinance passed on May 9th by the City of Coral Gables that bans the use of plastic bags. The City included a delay in enforcement of the ordinance for one year.

At Publix, our goal is to meet today’s needs without compromising what is essential for tomorrow. Simply stated, this means taking care of people and minimizing impact to our planet while remaining profitable. Sustainability is ingrained in our culture and represented in our Mission Statement through valuing our associates, serving our customers, enhancing our ties to the communities we serve, conserving natural resources, and ensuring economic stewardship for our stockholders. You can learn more about our sustainability efforts here.”

Rise Above Plastics is holding a rally on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m., just prior to the city council meeting. They are asking supporters to wear blue.

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Amanda Ciavarri

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