A new ordinance in the coastal town of Folly Beach would ban plastic bags, Styrofoam of any kind, and balloons off its beaches in an effort to try and keep them cleaner.
Town council members unanimously approved the ordinance at their meeting Tuesday, becoming the first South Carolina municipality to pass such a ban into law.
Mayor Tim Goodwin told South Carolina Radio Network that the beach ban takes effect immediately. However, retail outlets inside the town will have some time to adjust.
“As of January 1, the stores in the City of Folly Beach could no longer issue Styrofoam containers, as in to-go boxes, like in a restaurant, or plastic bags,” Goodwin said.
The new ordinance bans single-use plastic bags, balloons and Styrofoam of any kind, coolers, cups and carry-out boxes from the beach itself. The items also could not be sold at stores inside town limits.
A $500 fine or 30 days in jail could face people who violate the ordinance. However town leaders said they prefer to promote education and awareness of the ban rather than constant punishment.
Folly Beach is a town of about 2,600 people located along the coast just south of Charleston.