Plastic Bags! What, if anything, should we do about them?

22 Aug Plastic Bags! What, if anything, should we do about them?

Several months ago a campaign was launched to find an alternative to plastic bags littering our waterways, our beaches, our highways and streets, parks and neighborhoods and endangering wildlife.

The immediate reaction from the State Legislature was to propose a law that would ban local governments from banning plastic bans.  Fortunately, the measure was withdrawn our of respect for local government or more likely because it could not attract support..

That is not to say that the issue should be swept under the rug.  It is to say that local governments should have the latitude to manage our communities, control waste and dispose of such in a reasonable manner. The towns of the Isle of Palms and Folly Beach have banned plastic bags from their beaches.

I am not sure that banning, charging a deposit so they people can be reimbursed for returning used bags or simply charging a fee as encouragement for bags to be used more than once before being disposed of is the right answer.  But I do think this issue should be discussed as we are paying a high price for the litter.

I am certain that a law regulating plastic bags in one way or another should be county wide and that each of our municipalities should not have different policies because they will be confusing and likely unenforceable.  Accordingly, through informal conversations I believe it is fair to say that a consensus among Beaufort County Mayors is that issue should be addressed by County Council since a uniform countywide approach would be the most effective way.

ON TUESDAY — TODAY — The Beaufort County Council’s Natural Resources Committee will hold a meeting and I would recommend if you have thoughts, feelings or ideas about how to manage the issue, you may want to attend.

Tuesday, August 22 at 3 p.m.
100 Ribaut Road, Beaufort
Executive Conference Room, Administrative Building
Beaufort County Government Robert Smalls Complex