straws

Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash

Get your reusable straws ready: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill that would have prohibited plastic straw bans.

Gov. Ron DeSantis received and vetoed House Bill 771 on Friday, despite being given until May 25 to act on the bill. It was the first time the governor used his veto power.

HB 771 included a section regarding the local regulation of single-use plastic straws. The bill stated that before July 1, 2024, Florida counties or municipalities would not be allowed to adopt or enforce regulations relating to single-use plastic straws.

Vetoing the bill allows Florida counties to implement single-use plastic straw bans.

Sanibel, Ft. Myers Beach and Miami Beach have already enacted single-use plastic straw bans, Desantis said in a veto letter explaining why he vetoed the bill.

“These measures have not, as far as I can tell, frustrated any state policy or harmed the state’s interests,” DeSantis said. “In fact, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has encouraged Florida residents, schools and businesses to reduce plastic straw use.”

The city of Gainesville has not taken up a single-use plastic straw ban, it has only been in discussion, Chip Skinner, a city of Gainesville spokesperson, said. The city did pass a single-use plastic and styrofoam ban in January.

Mark Sexton, Alachua County spokesperson, said the county commission is very supportive of the veto, especially due to the harm plastic straws can cause marine life. The commission has been working on their own single-use plastic ban.

“It was a good veto because it showed a respect for home-rule and local governments,” Sexton said. “The governor basically said in his explanation of the veto that he thought that this should be handled at the local level, and we support that.”

Tien is a first-year journalism major at the University of Florida.