On March 26, 2019, Seabrook Island Town Council adopted Resolution No. 2019-18, the purpose of which was to state Town Council's opposition to Senate Bill 394 ("S. 394"), which is currently pending consideration in the South Carolina Legislature. The purpose of S. 394 is to restrict the authority of local governments to regulate the use of "auxiliary containers," including single-use plastic containers and related items.
In February of 2019, Town Council adopted a list of Strategic Priorities for the upcoming year. One of these priorities included Town Council's desire to "develop and implement an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags."
If S. 394 is enacted into law, the Town of Seabrook Island, along with other coastal communities, would be pre-empted by the state from adopting and enforcing regulations on single-use plastic containers. The Mayor and Council have expressed their "adamant opposition to any legislation pending in the South Carolina General Assembly that would override local jurisdiction and prevent local regulation of plastics contamination."
On April 10, 2019, a copy of Resolution No. 2019-18 was sent by Mayor Ron Ciancio to Rep. Peter M. McCoy, Jr. and Sen. George E. Campsen, both of whom represent the Town of Seabrook Island in the South Carolina Legislature.
Plastics, especially single-use plastic bags made from forms of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) -- a non-renewable and non-biodegradable petroleum or natural gas by-product -- have proven to be an environmental hazard worldwide, contributing to extensive litter and water pollution that is life-threatening to wildlife, marine species and humans.
To date, the following communities in South Carolina have adopted similar regulations on single-use plastic containers and related items:
View Resolution No. 2019-18
View Mayor Ciancio's Letter to Rep. McCoy and Sen. Campsen