Sprinkle Pool at Museum of Ice Cream ‘Environmental Hazard,' City Says

Swimming in the signature sprinkle-filled pool at the Museum of Ice Cream in Miami Beach may be a whimsical, fun experience, but diving into the colorful pool of plastic has its consequences.

Turns out, the pool has been deemed an environmental hazard by the City of Miami Beach’s Code Compliance department. The department issued the Museum of Ice Cream a sanitation forthwith violation that carries a $1,000 fine, a spokesperson said. In addition, a courtesy notice was issued for “creating an environmental hazard.”

The move comes after tiny sprinkles were found lining the sidewalks and streets around the Museum of Ice Cream on 3400 Collins Ave. Local environmentalist Dave Doebler told the Miami New Times that faux sprinkles could make their way into Miami’s storm drains, leading to ocean pollution and marine life mistakenly ingesting the plastic pieces.

The Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco saw a similar event, when trails of sprinkles were spotted on sidewalks and in gutters for several blocks around the museum’s location. A spokesperson for the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco told the SF Gate the museum works with an “environmental specialist” and that an “air shower” was available to help visitors blow off the small pieces.

Many attendees at the Museum of Ice Cream find themselves carrying sprinkles with them for days after their visit. In San Francisco, one visitor named James Banares said: “A week later and I’m still finding sprinkles all over my home and in random clothes,” the SFGate reported.

Spokesperson Melissa Berthier said the City of Miami Beach has been advised by the museum that measures will soon be put into place to “mitigate the conditions.” Among those measures: A cleaning crew, check points to remove sprinkles indoors, vacuums to remove sprinkles that escape the exhibit, and relocating the pool so it’s at the beginning of the museum rather than the end.

Berthier also said the city’s public works department installed mesh catchers in storm drains to catch any sprinkles that escape the exhibit before entering the water way.

The Museum of Ice Cream released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying in part, "We have taken immense precautions to ensure we are environmentally conscious and implementing sustainable efforts. At all of our MOIC locations, including Miami, we have hired multiple cleaners that are constantly sweeping around the building as well as paying extra attention to the waterway entrance. Additionally, we have already begun the process of creating a biodegradable sprinkle for our Sprinkle Pool, that will be implemented in the near future. It is important to note that we have been consulting with top environmental specialists to learn more about how we can greater impact Miami's sustainable efforts."

The Museum of Ice Cream in Miami Beach opened on Dec. 13, 2017. The museum has locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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