The City of Miami Beach declared the sprinkles used at The Museum of Ice Cream to be an environmental hazard after plastic sprinkles started showing up on the beach.
Who wants ice cream? Well, 90% of American housholds regularly indulge in this frozen dessert, so it makes sense that there’s a museum dedicated to ice cream.
An exhibit recently opened up featuring a giant pool of plastic rainbow sprinkles that Museum of Ice Cream guests could freely play in. This creative, colorful idea turned dark when officials realized how far these plastic pellets can travel.
The potential for environmental repercussions was first noticed by environmentalist Dave Doebler who was walking by the museum one fateful night. He watched as happy museumgoers walked away, filming the little plastic pellets from the sprinkle pool falling on the sidewalk. If it rained, all of those pellets would wash down the storm drain and into the ocean.
“They might as well just be throwing them straight into the ocean,” New Times reports Doebler saying, worried about marine life eating the fake sprinkles.
Though his reasoning is undoubtedly fair, it’s possible many people simply will not care. Seeing how 85% of customers for any given business live within five miles of it, and if there’s a sign advertising it they’ll likely see it 50 times per week, Miami Beach residents might be desensitized to this environmental threat.
With just a slight $1,000 slap on the wrist penalty from the Miami Beach city code department, there is cause to doubt how far Museum of Ice Cream owners will go to reduce the spillage of their fake sprinkles.
The spokeswoman for the code department leaves a tepidly optimistic note hanging for environmentalists.
“We have been regularly inspecting the location and have been advised by the company that they are putting measures in place to mitigate the conditions, including but not limited to the hiring of a cleaning crew, instituting checkpoints to remove sprinkles indoors, vacuums to remove sprinkles that escape, and relocating the pool to the beginning instead of the end of the museum, Berthier says in an email.”
Despite these mildly encouraging words, tickets to the museum are sold out yet again even though they cost $38 each.
This is not the first scandal to strike the popular museum. According to Eater San Francisco, Museum of Ice Cream representatives asked small local ice cream shops to provide product for their exhibit. The payment offered? Exposure.