ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Local municipalities are being challenged by plastic industry officials who are wanting to put a ban on plastic bag bans.
Wednesday, Isle of Palms Mayor, Jimmy Carroll, Mount Pleasant Mayor, Will Haynie and other city officials traveled to Columbia for a Regulatory and Local Government Subcommittee meeting. The meeting discussed the home rule law after plastic industry officials said local governments should not create laws banning plastic bags.
“Home rule is what gives a community their right to pass laws that best protect their communities,” Carroll said. “These plastic industry people, they want to make money, we want to protect our environment.”
Carroll said Lowcountry officials attended the meeting with the goal of testifying to state senators why the single-use plastic bag ban is pivotal to this community and why home rule matters
“It’s a real problem, it’s a worldwide problem,” he said. “We were going up there to fight for home rule, but we were never allowed to speak.”
Carroll said he was given a memorandum saying there will be one hour for testimonies with each testimony limited to 3 minutes at the meeting. People were allowed to speak on the topic of home rule and the laws pertaining to banning plastic bags.
“The plastic industry took up 35 minutes and elected officials from Beaufort county took up 20, now they were on our side, but still everyone else in the room did not speak,” Carroll said.
He said nearly 40 people came to the meeting. Being that Carroll was unable to speak, he said he gave a copy of his thoughts to all senators in attendance instead.
“The Lowcountry eats seafood and our shrimp, fish, crabs are all eating micro-plastics, it affects everybody.”
Isle of Palms was the first of now 11 Lowcountry areas that have a single plastic bag ban. Carroll said him and other officials plan to continue fighting for home rule.
“We are not giving up our fight for home rule. this is about our communities and we are going to fight for our communities,” he said.
Carroll said the Regulatory and Local Government Subcommittee will have other meetings in the future. He said he has committed himself to attend every meeting.