Florida

Coral Gables takes its battle to uphold its Styrofoam ban to the state Supreme Court

Coral Gables has gone to the Florida Supreme Court in a legal battle over whether the city should be able to ban the use of Styrofoam food containers.
Coral Gables has gone to the Florida Supreme Court in a legal battle over whether the city should be able to ban the use of Styrofoam food containers. AP

Coral Gables has gone to the Florida Supreme Court in a legal battle about whether the city should be able to ban the use of Styrofoam food containers, according to documents posted Monday on the Supreme Court website.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal in August overturned a ruling by a Miami-Dade County circuit judge who had found three state laws unconstitutional and determined Coral Gables was not prevented from enacting the Styrofoam ban.

The case has focused heavily on a wide-ranging Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services bill that state lawmakers passed in March 2016. The measure barred local governments from regulating food-related polystyrene — commonly known as Styrofoam — containers and made that prohibition retroactive to any local ordinances passed after Jan. 1, 2016.

Coral Gables approved a Styrofoam-ban ordinance in February 2016, and the Florida Retail Federation and Super Progreso Inc. later filed the lawsuit challenging its legality.

The appeals court said the three state laws at issue in the case are unambiguous and “expressly preempt the city’s polystyrene ordinance.”

As is common, the city’s notice of taking the case to the Supreme Court does not detail arguments Coral Gables will make.

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