ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The Isle of Palms announced new regulations for beachgoers, which will take effect on the first of the new year.
Beginning January 1, 2020, smoking will be banned on IOP beaches and beach access paths, according to a statement issued Tuesday night by IOP.
This somewhat controversial decision seemed to be the focus of the public’s attention, but smoking is not the only thing that will be banned on IOP beaches.
A press release issued on Wednesday revealed that single use plastics will also be banned on the island in the future.
According to IOP, “island businesses will be prohibited from distributing Polystyrene/plastic foam products (also known as Styrofoam), plastic straws and stirrers at the point of sale.”
Businesses will be required to use recyclable or compostable disposable food service ware, and it must meet standards set by the Charleston County recycling program, according to the press release.
Citizens will also be prohibited from bringing their own single use plastics to the beach.
The press release identified some common examples of these items as single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, Polystyrene (Styrofoam) food containers, cups and balloons.
IOP council members hope that these regulations will reduce litter and improve the environment.
Mayor Jimmy Carroll justified the need for these regulations:
“the trash that is left on the beach makes its way to our waterways and the ocean and is deadly to marine life. Plastic bags look like jellyfish and block the digestive tracts of sea turtles. We couldn’t sit idly by while seeing how this problem was affecting our beautiful beach.”
The IOP Police Department will be responsible for enforcing the new regulations with fines ranging from $25-$100 for first time offenders, and potentially higher fines for repeat offenders, according to the press release.