By Katie Zimmerman
Communities up and down our coast are exploring ways to reduce single-use plastic items in order to keep our beaches clean and our sea creatures safe. In addition to strangling marine life, single-use plastics cause problems for the machinery at municipal recycling facilities and degrade municipal compost. As a result of the rise of plastic pollution, in recent years scientists have found tiny fragments of plastic that have broken down in our waterways and are working their way through food webs — ultimately poisoning us.
Some municipalities, including Isle of Palms, have already taken steps to reduce plastic waste on our beaches. Plastic bag manufacturers are now targeting local governments, despite SC being a “home rule” state. The plastic bag lobby is pushing for a bill in the legislature that would prevent towns and cities from enacting their own local waste-reduction solutions, including banning plastic bag bans. (Think of it as a ban on plastic bag bans.)
Our coastal towns and cities deserve to make their own decisions about what’s in their communities’ best interest. Stand up for our environment today by asking your state representative to vote NO on H.3378. Write your legislator directly or here at www.action.coastalconservationleague.org/page/speakout/plastic-bag-bans-
South Carolina has thousands of volunteers currently devoting their time and energy to protecting sea turtles — one of several species harmed by single use plastic bags — and thousands more volunteers participating in litter sweeps regularly. Let’s ensure their efforts don’t go to waste.
Tell your representative today to stand against the plastic bag lobby and stand up for our coast.
Katie Zimmerman is the Air, Water, & Public Health Program Director of the Coastal Conservation League.