SC Staff Report
Sanibel City Council approved a resolution in support of reducing plastic litter at its meeting Tuesday, July 16, as part of the city’s commitment to environmental protection and stewardship. Councilwoman Holly Smith made it clear that a ban on plastic bags is prohibited by the Florida law, and a resolution is merely a recommendation to businesses and residents.
The resolution states the city finds it is in the best interest, safety and welfare of the citizens and visitors to reduce litter and pollutants on the lands and in the water, in order to continue to protect the wildlife. Plastic bags threaten wildlife and litter the island’s beaches and water, the resolution states.
Councilman Richard Johnson, owner of Bailey’s General Store, spoke of the business expense in moving from plastic bags to reusable ones. “It’s the worth the expense. Spend the money,” he said.
In other agenda items, further discussion of gas-powered leaf blowers and an ordinance restricting motorized scooters and bicycles on the Shared Use Path were continued to the August council meeting in the absence of Councilman Jason Maughan.
Vice Mayor Mick Denham cited safety as the reason he will cast his vote in support of prohibiting electric scooters and bikes on the Shared Use Path. Data from a recent survey by the city showed half of the 2,500 respondents were “uncomfortable with user behavior” and 40 percent believed the path was already congested during season without the addition of electric vehicles.
“Narrow areas of the path and congestion during season should give us concern. With the introduction of a fast-moving electric vehicle, we will be unable to ensure the safety of pedestrians – persons with limited mobility, parents with strollers and dog walkers,” said Denham.
The next city council meeting will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd.