Frequently Asked Questions

#PlasticFreeNBV Questions

North Bay Village is a unique coastal community that sits in the ecologically diverse Biscayne Bay.  As a city that is rich in natural resources, we understand the importance of keeping our streets, waterways, and ecological habitats healthy. The reduction of single-use plastic will help protect these natural elements by:

  • Decreasing the demand on natural resources to produce plastic;
  • Reducing the production of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Protecting wildlife from ingesting plastic debris/litter
  • Reducing litter in waterways and beaches;
  • Allowing the city’s stormwater system to function adequately and debris free

Learn more about the impacts of plastic pollution.

Three ordinances were adopted to support the City’s waste reduction and recycling goals, promote environmental health, protect wildlife, and conserve resources. In conjunction with these ordinances, the city is launching the #PlasticFreeNBV campaign along with a certification program for businesses to pledge to reduce and/or remove certain types of plastics from their establishments.

  • Ordinance 2015-014 This ordinance prohibits the sale and use of expanded polystyrene (also known as Styrofoam) within the City.
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  • Ordinance 2019-010 would prohibit the use/distribution or sale of single-use plastics.
    View PDF
  • Resolution 2019-079 urges the state legislature to approve Senate Bill 182 and any companion house bills to repeal the preemption of local laws regarding the use or sale of single use plastics. 
    View PDF

Drink in style – always have a reusable bottle or cup handy

Eat in Style – ordering in? getting delivery? Say no to plastic cutlery. We’re sure that what you have at home works better anyways

Go strawless – decline any straws or stirrers that may come with your beverage or if you really need one, get yourself a reusable straw

Go topless – do you really need the plastic top to that coffee or smoothie cup? Unless you’re going for a joy ride, you don’t really need it

Spread the word – tell your family, friends, and neighbors about the importance of reducing single-use plastic

Share the program – with your favorite stores and restaurant and tell them to pledge to become a #plasticfreenbv business

We encourage you to first share information on the #plasticfreenbv program with businesses. If you notice the use of plastic straw/stirrer and plastic bag in the locations above, you can contact the Code Enforcement at 305-756-7171 x 65 or sending a message to Other businesses can voluntarily substitute plastic straws/stirrers and plastic bags with other materials.

The short answer in no. Although composting is a great option when reducing plastic use, our region does not offer large scale composting. Additionally, compostable plastics are not accepted at most recycling facilities in South Florida. If your home or business has a composting bin, then compostable plastic may work for you. Compostable plastics can take several months to biodegrade and are still considered litter if not disposed of properly. An important action to keep in mind is to reduce dependency on single use plastic before considering reusing and recycling. Keep in mind that our plastic straw/stirrer ordinance does not allow for biodegradable or compostable plastics as substitutes.

We highly recommend choosing reusable materials or items that are derived from natural products such as bamboo, sugarcane, and other highly biodegradable products. It’s also important to note waste management services are provided by a small group of contracted waste/recycling companies. These companies only accept certain types of plastic to recycle. The recycling symbol and the number on a container do not necessarily indicate whether a product is recyclable. We recommend recycling by shape. Consider items such bottles, jars and jugs which are the most highly accepted materials at a recycling facility.

  • Plastic #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
  • Plastic #2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Plastic #3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Plastic #4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Plastic #5: Polypropylene (PP)
  • Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS)
  • Plastic #7: Other
  • EPS : Expanded Polystyrene

Some biodegradable plastics include:

  • Polypropylene Carbonate
  • Polylactide-based plastics (PLA)

Although these plastics claim to be biodegradable, they take a significant amount to time to biodegrade and have the same environmental impact as regular plastics. Plastics that claim to be compostable often require a large scale composting facility and a specific environment to completely biodegrade.

The links below are a great starting point for businesses to locate sustainable alternative materials. The city recommends looking at reusable materials mainly for kitchen materials, such as utensils, plates, cups, etc. The upfront investment to purchase the reusable materials will definitely pay off in a short run and you will produce less litter.

Dine in Style

Sip in Style

Shop in Style

Debris Free Oceans  has created a purchasing list of places where you could find alternatives/more sustainable materials.

DFO Vendor Product Guide