|Beaufort County is preparing for a culture shift as every resident and business owner prepares for the plastic bag ban. This ordinance goes into effect in the Town of Bluffton and across Beaufort County November 1, 2018. Town leaders and staff members thank you in advance for your partnership as our community prepares for the ban on single-use plastic bags.
We are here to provide you with the information to help with this transition. Switching from single-use plastic bags to reusable bags is one way we can all do our part to contribute to the health of our region’s natural resources. The objective of this ordinance is to reduce litter and protect our region’s waterways and marine wildlife.
As of November 1, 2018, business establishments may no longer provide single-use disposable plastic carryout shopping bags to customers. To accommodate this new ordinance, businesses are encouraged to provide reusable carryout bags or recyclable paper bags for your customers. The Town is grateful for those businesses, which are already making these types of bags available to their customers, either as a courtesy or for sale at a minimal charge. The Town is also grateful for residents and guests who are already shopping and using reusable bags.
Reusable carryout bags are made of cloth or other washable fabric or are comprised of recyclable plastic with a minimum thickness of 2.25 mils.
Under the new ordinance, there are still some plastic bags allowed, including those used for newspapers, dry cleaning, meat/produce/unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods and plastic bags used by pharmacists or veterinarians containing prescription drugs or other medical supplies.
We realize this new ordinance represents a significant change to your business operations. During the initial period of transition, Town officials will continue to be available to provide clarification or answer questions. The new ordinance, however, does carry penalties for non-compliance. Failure to comply may result in written warning. If subsequent violations occur after a warning, a penalty of up to $100 can be issued for the first violation and $200 for a second violation within any 12-month period. After the second violation, a $500 fine can be issued for each violation thereafter within any 12-month period.
If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Szpanka, the Town’s public information officer at (email@example.com).
Together, as residents and business owners, let us all begin using recyclable or reusable bags as we strive to protect our region’s environment.