CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD— Single-use plastic bags and straws will soon be banned in the City of Charleston.
The new ban goes into effect January 1st.
To help residents and businesses transition to using recyclable and compostable products, city officials are hosting a workshop on Wednesday night. They will be giving out reusable bags and straws.
Charleston city council passed the single-use plastic ordinance back in November.
According to city officials, nearly 8 tons of plastic waste ends up in Charleston harbor every year. They are hoping that stricter plastic laws will help keep our waterways clean.
At the start of the new year, all single-use carry out bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam carry-out containers will be banned in city limits.
This means that establishments like restaurants and bars, retail and grocery stores, food trucks, vendors, farmers markets, schools, and government offices will need to stop using these items.
The Director of Sustainability for the City of Charleston, Katie McKain, says that violators could face fines up to $500 dollars.
“The first step will be warning notices and then there are fines that are written into the ordinance. They’re on the smaller side, but if we approach repeat offenders… then we may need to take that measure, but we’re hoping we don’t and we’re hoping we can get everyone in compliance.”
There are some exemptions to the single-use plastic ban including cutlery, drink lids and garbage bags.
To learn more about the new rules, you can attend tonight’s workshop at the Eastside Community Development Corporation located. 6pm. 60 America Street, Charleston, SC 2940
The workshop will include a review of the new city code, tips and creative ideas to avoid using single-use plastics, information about recycling and composting programs and suggestions for how residents can help be part of a community-wide solution to protect the beauty and livability of the Charleston region. In addition, free reusable bags and straws will be available to those in attendance.
For more information on the ordinance, click here.