Sullivan’s Island plastic ban passes second reading

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Sullivan’s Island passed the second reading of a ban on plastic.

The ban would mean an end to single use plastic items including plastic bags, straws, and anything that is made of polystyrene.

The goal would be to help improve the environment by getting rid of plastic since it’s non-biodegradable, but also to keep beaches clean.

“We’ve seen on the west coast, a lot of municipalities ban plastics and these other items that we were discussing from the beach and it works,” said Sarah Church, Sullivan town councilmember. “People get used to not bringing them out there and it works. They have clear beaches as a result.”

The ordinance still needs to go through another reading before it is fully approved.

Businesses have given mixed reactions on the topic.

Businesses that choose to ignore this ban could be fined up to $500.

Some people said it is better for the island, while others feel the change may be too hard for people to adjust to.

There are some exceptions to this ban which include:

  • Products made from polystyrene/plastic foam which is wholly encapsulated or encased by a more durable material. For example: surfboards, boats, life preservers and craft supplies are exempt.
  • Laundry dry cleaning bags, door-hanger bags, newspaper bags, or packages of multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste or yard waste
  • Bags provided by physicians, dentists, pharmacists or veterinarians to contain prescription drugs or other medical necessities

The ban would go into effect on Dec. 31, 2018.

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