Two years in a row, the South Carolina General Assembly has considered a law that would keep local governments from banning disposable plastic bags. So unwise! These bags contribute to the 8 million tons of plastic trash that enter our oceans each year.
Birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife often mistake the trash for food. The plastic then kills the animals or limits their ability to grow and reproduce. Today, 90 percent of seabirds eat plastic debris.
What We’re Doing
Audubon South Carolina is involved in two ways. First, we applaud progressive towns and cities that ban the use of disposable plastic bags by local stores. Isle of Palms was the first in 2015. Folly Beach followed in 2016. Beaufort and Hilton Head may be next, and we're promoting those efforts.
Second, Audubon South Carolina opposes any state effort to restrict the rights of local communities to protect wildlife and keep their beaches clean. Fortunately, the last bill that attempted to tie the hands of local communities, H.3529, was shelved until 2018.
We helped ensure this victory by asking state legislators to protect the right to "Home Rule," and by reminding them that treasuring birds and wildlife is good business. In 2011, 1.7 million consumers spent $2 billion in South Carolina on hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching. Overall, consumers spend $18 billion per year in South Carolina on outdoor recreation, generating $1 billion annually in state and local tax revenue.
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