GAINESVILLE, FL / ACCESSWIRE / October 22, 2020 / Dr. David Hastings retired Eckerd College professor, weighs in on the debate surrounding the banning of single-use plastics within communities in Florida.
With single-use plastic bans in Florida being rescinded almost as quickly as they are announced and implemented, it's a fight that retired Eckerd College professor Dr. David Hastings simply isn't prepared to lose. With a focus on the devastating and long-lasting impact of single-use and other plastics on the ocean environment, the marine science expert weighs in on the debate and explains more about the issue.
"Calling for an end to single-use plastics in Florida is not new, but it's an ongoing struggle," suggests retired Eckerd College professor Dr. David Hastings, speaking from his home in Gainesville, Florida, "and one which continues to face almost constant opposition."
According to marine science professor Dr. David Hastings, previously implemented single-use plastic bans in Surfside, Palm Beach, and elsewhere in Florida have already been overturned.
Even a ban in the retired Eckerd College professor's home city of Gainesville seemingly met with such opposition that it was rescinded not long after it was implemented, the Alachua County-based expert reports. "Alachua County very quickly called for an end to a single-use plastics ban which had not long been in place, after which Gainesville simply followed suit," reveals Dr. Hastings.
Of some solace to Dr. Hastings, however, he says, is the fact that municipalities themselves aren't simply choosing to overturn rules aimed at reducing plastic waste and protecting the environment; they are backtracking on policy decisions to avoid legal action. "The Florida Retail Federation has pushed back," explains theretired Eckerd College professor, "stating that single-use plastic bans violate state laws."
Threats to sue local governments, Dr. Hastings says, made by the controversial trade association-which represents retailers such as Publix, Walmart, and Target-have proved to be an early death knell for what is, he's keen to stress, an extremely important cause.
The Florida Retail Federation has, it's reported, cited a law that prevents local governments from regulating certain plastics determined to be of a single-use nature, including disposable plastic bags and so-called auxiliary containers.
"What the Florida Retail Federation and the corporations that it represents are failing to acknowledge, however, is the catastrophic rate at which single-use and other plastics are already destroying delicate marine environments, both in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world," stresses expert and retired marine science professor, Dr. David Hastings.
Retired Eckerd College professor Dr. David Hastings is, therefore, calling, again, for bans on single-use plastic items in Florida and its communities to be implemented and upheld.
"We must act now if we are to turn the tide on plastic pollution in our oceans," concludes Dr. David Hastings, "or we risk catastrophic damage to marine environments which may well prove irreversible."
Dr. David Hastings is a retired college professor who landed on the shores of Tampa Bay, Florida, in 2000 to teach marine science and chemistry at Eckerd College. Eckerd College is a prestigious liberal arts institution located in nearby St. Petersburg. Passionate about conservation, Dr. David Hastings is, though retired, still extremely keen to champion the importance of experts actively engaging in policy conversations in order to ensure the future of the planet and its oceans, and in the imperative nature of taking direct action to combat further damage to the world's precious marine environments as a result of plastic pollution.
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SOURCE: David Hastings