One of the main reasons you come to beach rentals Charleston – be it one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals or a Folly Beach house Charleston – is, of course, the BEACH. Most of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals are just steps from it.
It makes sense to do all we can to protect the health and beauty of it, not to mention all the many sea creatures who live in nearby waters.
The City of the Isle of Palms just took a very important step towards that goal. The IOP has become the very first city in the entire state of South Carolina to ban plastic bags in local businesses. And they did it in dramatic fashion, with a unanimous 8-0 vote on June 23rd.
It was a real grassroots effort that slowly gained momentum. Some of the businesses that voiced their support early on include: Bushido, The Dinghy, Coda Del Pesce, Banana Cabana, Sea Biscuit, ThinkBank Inc., Long Island Cafe, Salon Latitude, Nature Adventures, Janis Agency, Isle of Palms Family Dentistry, Dickinson Architects and Island Ice.
And the one business that this most applied to – Harris-Teeter, the sole grocery store on the island – well, they got on board long before the final vote, switching to paper bags or reusable bags only at their checkouts. Technically the ban takes effect six months from the June 23rd decision.
The ban only covers point-of-sale, one-time use plastic bags. Plastic bags inside the grocery store for fresh produce and meats are not covered by the ban. It also does not apply to doggie waste bags available around the beach, dry cleaning bags, the bags that cover newspapers, or bags brought on the island from elsewhere (for example, if you shop at Target and bring it back to your luxury house on Isle of Palms).
Not only do the bags tend to blow around and litter the beach, but the main way they are a threat is to sea creatures. Loggerheads, other sea turtles, fish and birds mistake them for jellyfish and ingest the bags, which can cause all kinds of health problems and death. The bags also break down into small particles in ocean waters which cause all kinds of problems.
In a recent study by The Citadel entitled, “Plastic to Microplastic: Decomposition of Three Common Plastic Polymers in a Salt Marsh Habitat,” some surprising discoveries were made. At any given time, over seven tons of plastics sit by the water or under the tidal water around Charleston Harbor. It is estimated that it breaks down into microplastics in four to eight weeks. These small pieces are then ingested by fish and shrimp – either killing them, or ending up in the food that we eat. Yuck.
It’s a global problem.
Here’s a shocking statistic – 500 BILLION plastic bags are used each year around the globe. Believe it or not, the entire country of China has passed laws prohibiting their use. So has the state of Hawaii, and several cities along the Outer Banks.
So, kudos for the IOP for stepping up and taking action.
Here’s the Facebook page of the grassroots effort to ban the bags: https://www.facebook.com/banthebagIOP
You can also keep up with the issue as well as other things to help protect our beaches, via the Charleston chapter of Surfrider’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/charlestonsurfrider
They are also interested in the ban spreading to include Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach as well. Hopefully the example of the Isle of Palms will encourage other nearby beaches to join in the effort, so that the sands near all beach house rentals Charleston SC will be protected.
And who knows – hopefully this will turn the tide, so to speak, in the entire state, so that the beaches near all SC vacation rentals will be protected from this environmental threat.
Here’s a link to an article in the Post and Courier about the lead-up to the ban: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150527/PC16/150529359
So remember to bring along those reusable grocery bags, or just use paper. And when you are looking for rental homes South Carolina, namely a Charleston beach house, contact Exclusive Properties. Our luxury beach house rentals SC are the best around.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
Photo credit: Ban the Bag IOP Facebook page