Folly Beach could become the state’s first seaside community to ban Styrofoam coolers, food and beverage containers, as well as balloons and single-use plastic bags on its beach.
The town’s council gave its initial approval to an ordinance Tuesday that would ban the disposable containers and plastic items on the beach alone.
Mayor Tim Goodwin told South Carolina Radio Network that banning the items citywide did not make sense since people could just bring the containers in from somewhere else. “To make this go one step further to help keep this stuff out of waterways and our ocean, we won’t have it at the beach,” he said.
Goodwin said Styrofoam coolers left on the beach had become somewhat of a problem. “If the Styrofoam coolers gets broke, or if something gets messed up, they have the tendency of leaving it there instead of taking it home or to the garbage to be disposed of,” he said. “And people won’t leave a Yeti cooler on the beach. They’ll take that home with them.”
There will be a second vote next month before the new law can go into effect.
The ban is believed to be the first of its kind in South Carolina. Isle of Palms became the first community in the state to ban the sale of single-use plastic bags at stores. However, the ban does not bar plastic and foam containers from the beach.