News Stories

Ordinance in Sanibel Island Bans Plastic Straws in 2019

7:25 PM, Sep 19, 2018


Tamika Cody, Michael Adam Mora

Since residents in the City of Sanibel passed the plastic straw ban , businesses will have to comply with the new ordinance starting in January 2019.

The city and other community groups, like Coastal Keepers , are teaming up to help businesses identify alternative options.

Strawless in Sanibel

This is only an ordinance for businesses, so private citizens can continue using plastic straws if they would like.

If a business is found with plastic straws after January 2019, the city will give a written warning as the first offense. A second offense within a one-year period will cost a business $50. A third offense will be $200. And a fourth offense will set a business back $500.

But there are some exclusions in the ordinance :

  • The use of a plastic straw by any disabled person that requires or relies on the use of a straw;
  • Pre-packaged beverages with plastic straws sold or distributed within the City;
  • Medical or dental facilities;
  • A plastic straw that is included with and manufactured as a part of a re-usable beverage container; and
  • Land or facilities owned and managed by the Lee County School Board , Lee County, the State of Florida or the Federal Government.

Local businesses do not seem worried about the approaching ordinance.

Bridget Stone is part-owner of The Pecking Order Fried Chicken & Catering, which is among the highest rated restaurants in Sanibel, according to reviewers at

Stone, 54, doesn't see the ordinance having an impact on her bottom line. Customers dining at The Pecking Order Fried Chicken & Catering have not expressed a preference for a plastic straw alternative either.

"Honestly, I think there is bigger problems other than plastic straws right now," Stone said, referring to red tide . "I support it, I guess."