Sullivan’s Island Town Council passes 2nd reading of plastics ban

Local News

Another coastal community in the Lowcountry could soon enact a plastics ban.

On Tuesday night, Sullivan’s Island Town Council passed the second reading of an ordinance that would ban certain plastic and polystyrene, plastic foam, materials.

The ordinance still requires a third and final reading.

It would prohibit businesses from using or distributing single-use plastic bags, straws, polystyrene containers, polystyrene coolers and cups. It aims to protect some of the coastal community’s most environmentally-sensitive resources and reduce waste.

Some business managers on the island said they support the ordinance.

“Here in Charleston, especially in Sullivan’s Island, our business is greatly supported by the tourism of people coming to the island and taking advantage of the beach and of the ocean,” said Jonathan Bentley, the general manager at The Obstinate Daughter. “If that were to become scarred and littered it would affect us, personally.”

Bently said that the restaurant and the ice cream shop below it, Beardcat’s Sweet Shop, have been using biodegradable straws, cups and other products since the eateries first opened over four years ago.

“I’ve very proud that it actually isn’t going to affect our restaurant in a big way because we already have those practices in place,” he said.

However, there are exceptions to the ban including products made from polystyrene that are wholly encapsulated by a more durable material like surfboards and boats. Other exceptions include laundry dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, packages of multiple bags intended for garbage or yard waste or pet waste, bags provided by medical professionals or veterinarians to contain prescription drugs or other medical necessities and more.

A full list of exceptions can be found in the ordinance, available online in the town council agenda packet from Tuesday night.

The final reading is scheduled to occur at the next town council meeting on Nov. 20.

If passed by third reading, the ban would take effect on Dec. 1 but any businesses that struggles to comply may request an extension.

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