Plastic Pollution

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Plastic Pollution


The Coastal Conservation League is working on several initiatives designed to reduce plastic pollution in our state.

In spite of best efforts, litter continues to be a major environmental concern for water quality, human health, and wildlife. The single-use plastic bag is one of the most harmful pieces of litter entering our environment today.

If littered, single-use plastic bags strangle marine animals or break down into tiny fragments of plastic that infiltrate our waterways and work through food webs, including the diets of humans. Studies show that microplastic ingestion can cut oyster reproduction rates nearly in half. If inappropriately recycled, single-use plastic bags destroy machinery at recycling facilities or degrade municipal compost.

Plastic pollution accumulates daily in our oceans. Marine life from across the spectrum, from microscopic organisms at the base of the food chain to albatross, dolphins, and whales at the top, are ingesting these toxic materials.

We work within our communities — with citizens, elected officials, and partners to reduce harmful plastic pollution and implement policy changes designed to protect our water, wildlife, and quality of life.

Local Plastics Ordinances in South Carolina

City of Isle of Palms

  • Passed: June 2015; Implemented: January 1, 2016
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag ban at point-of-sale

City of Folly Beach

  • Passed: September 2016; Implemented: January 1, 2017
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag and polystyrene/foam ban at point-of-sale + prohibition on beach

Beaufort County, City of Beaufort, Town of Bluffton, Town of Port Royal, Town of Hilton Head

  • Passed: January-February 2018; Implemented: November 1, 2018
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag ban at point-of-sale

Town of Surfside Beach

  • Passed: January 2018; Implemented: June 1, 2018
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag ban at point-of-sale

Town of Mount Pleasant

  • Passed: April 2018; Implemented: April 16, 2019 
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag, polystyrene/foam, straw ban at point-of-sale

Town of Sullivan’s Island

  • Passed: November 2018; Implemented: December 1, 2018
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag, polystyrene/foam, straw ban at point-of-sale + prohibition on beach

City of Charleston

  • Passed: November 2018; Implemented: January 1, 2020  (not yet in effect)
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag, polystyrene/foam, straw ban at point-of-sale

Town of James Island

  • Passed: January 2019; Implemented: January 1, 2020  (not yet in effect)
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag, polystyrene/foam, straw ban at point-of-sale

Town of Arcadia Lakes

  • Passed: February 2019; Implemented: January 1, 2020  (not yet in effect)
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag and polystyrene/foam ban at point-of-sale

Charleston County (unincorporated)

  • Passed: March 2019; Implemented: September 1, 2019  (not yet in effect)
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag, polystyrene/foam, straw ban at point-of-sale

City of Camden

  • Passed: March 2019; Implemented: January 1, 2020  (not yet in effect)
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag ban at point-of-sale

Town of Edisto Beach

  • Passed: April 2019; Implemented: January 1, 2020  (not yet in effect)
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag, polystyrene/foam, straw ban at point-of-sale

City of North Myrtle Beach

  • Passed: April 2019; Implemented: January 1, 2021  (not yet in effect)
  • What’s in it: Plastic bag ban at point-of-sale

To learn more or get involved, check out what’s happening with plastics along the North Coast, in Charleston, and along the South Coast, and reach out to us:

North Coast: Erin Hardwick Pate at 843.545.0403

Charleston: Caroline Bradner at 843.723.8035

South Coast: Rikki Parker at 843.522.1800

Statewide and Legislative: Emily Cedzo at 843.723.8035


Contact Us

action@scccl.org · 843.723.8035

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