Miami’s Museum of Ice Cream is a magical place that lets guest celebrate everything having to do with the world’s favorite frozen treat. But while diving into its Insta-famous sprinkle pool looks pretty sweet, some environmentalists have sour feelings about its impact in the broader community.
According to reporting from the Miami New Times, the countless fake plastic sprinkles that make up the pool have caused real problems for marine life. Local environmentalist Dave Doebler recently visited the site of the installation to document how visitors unwittingly carry the colorful bits of plastic as far as two blocks away. In a rainstorm, he claims, these could easily wash into storm drains that would transport them out to Biscayne Bay. “They might as well just be throwing them straight into the ocean,” Doebler says.
And Doebler isn’t the only one paying attention. Though the Museum of Ice Cream’s been in Miami for less than a month (after successful pop-up iterations in New York, LA, and San Francisco), the city of Miami Beach’s code department slapped them with a $1000 sanitation violation as a warning to clean up its act.
For what it’s worth, the Museum of Ice Cream is working to mitigate the sprinkle pool’s impact. Steps outlined so far include the relocation of the pool to the beginning of the tour, hiring cleaning crews to sweep the surrounding area for debris, and the potential development of a biodegradable alternative.
“We aim to inspire and position ourselves as a brand who greatly understands our social responsibility,” the Museum said in a statement shared with the Miami New Times. “While we acknowledge there is always more we can do to improve our sprinkle residue around the city, it is important to note that we have taken immense precautions.”
So if you stop by the Museum of Ice Cream, make sure to shake off before you leave. Or just save the beach from fake sprinkles and enjoy some real ones instead.