Folly Beach bans plastic bags, balloons, styrofoam products on beach


FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) — The City of Folly beach is the first municipality in the state of South Carolina to prohibit the use of single-use plastic carryout bags, Styrofoam food containers and coolers, and balloons on the beach. Tonight’s vote by the Folly Beach City Council comes one month after the council unanimously voted into law an ordinance that prohibits the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags, Styrofoam coolers, containers, and cups at point of sale within city limits.

While the ban on use of prohibited items on the beach takes effect immediately, the ban on distribution of bags takes effect on January 1, 2017. For the next few months, the City of Folly Beach, local businesses, and nonprofit partners will work to educate citizens and visitors about the new ordinances. The City aims to stress education and awareness before punitive action.

Mayor Tim Goodwin fully supports the council’s vote and says it is critically important to protect our pristine Lowcountry, “This is just one small step for the health of the environment. Our ocean and our ocean life are the most important pieces of what makes Folly so special, and we have to do our part to preserve our piece of paradise.”

Lewis Dodson, president of the Folly Association of Businesses, says members of the organization stand behind the new ordinances, “Folly Beach is a close community and our businesses are an integral part of that community. As a result, we decided to be proactive in the way our businesses impact this Island. We saw the damage that non-recyclable plastic bags and Styrofoam were inflicting on our most valuable asset, the beach, and ocean, and decided to make a change. Folly Beach’s businesses are committed to protecting these assets and being good stewards of the ocean.”

Local conservation groups, including the Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, the Charleston Waterkeeper, and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League have emphasized their support of this local solution for a local problem as the City of Folly Beach stands as a leader, preventing dangerous plastic pollution from reaching the ocean.

Fast Facts:

  • Folly Beach City Council voted unanimously to prohibit single-use plastic carryout bags, Styrofoam coolers and food containers, and balloons from the beach.
  • Ordinance goes into effect immediately.
  • Vote follows unanimous vote on additional ordinance that prohibits businesses from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags, Styrofoam coolers, containers and cups at point of sale, effective January 1, 2017.
  • City of Folly Beach first municipality in South Carolina to ban these items from within city limits and on the beach.
  • Ordinances in place to protect marine resources.

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