Say it ain’t so.
Since opening during Art Basel Miami Beach, The Museum of Ice Cream has beckoned locals and visitors alike with icy-meets-sweet allure.
Located at Faena District at 3400 Collins Ave. on Miami Beach, the princess-pink palace is devoted to most everyone’s favorite frozen treat.
The girly dessert lover’s destination, with other locations in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, features such over-the-of top perks as an “ice cream prophet,” who gives ice cream readings; a dance studio; sculpture room; milkshake bar; dance studio; and playground.
One of the most Instagrammed spots, though, is likely the so-called sprinkle pool.
If you follow friends who have stopped by the celebrity magnet, you’ll likely see images of them playing with little pieces of what appear to be colorful sprinkles. The pool is reportedly filled with 100 million of these tiny plastic do-dads, give or take a million.
Sounds innocent enough. But local environmentalist Dave Doebler took issue with what he saw outside the venue. In a video posted on YouTube, Doebler, who founded VolunteerCleanup.org, filmed the sprinkles littered about the museum’s environs, including the cracks of the sidewalk, and even into the soil.
The caption for the video reads: “Interactive Art Installation has people take selfies in mounds of plastic sprinkles that get caught in their clothes and then drop off when they walk outside. Sprinkles go into... The street, into the storm drains, and straight out to the bay causing avoidable marine debris,” he wrote.
Soon after Doebler alerted the Miami New Times to the potential environmental problems, the City of Miami Beach’s Code Compliance department issued the museum a sanitation forthwith violation for creation of a health hazard or nuisance. It carries a $1,000 fine. See the case here.
Spokeswoman Devan Pucci says the situation is being rectified: “At Museum of Ice Cream, we take our role very seriously as a public-facing entity and aim to inspire and position ourselves as a brand who greatly understands our social responsibility and cultural presence. We appreciate the feedback we have received from visitors and the local Miami community and can assure our audience that we don’t take their suggestions lightly. As a result, we have taken immense precautions to ensure we are environmentally conscious and implementing sustainable efforts.”
Pucci continues that there is a massive cleanup under way.
“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.”
She continues that the drainage systems have been layered with felt by Public Works, and the sprinkles are being collected.
Going forward, guests will continue to be reminded to do a “double shake upon leaving,” ensuring the fake sprinkles are kept inside the property.