Effective September 8, 2019, all businesses operating within the Town of Kiawah Island are prohibited from distributing the following items to their customers: (1) single-use plastic carryout bags, (2) plastic straws and (3) products made from polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), including food service ware. The possession of these items, with the addition of balloons, are prohibited on the beach.
Kiawah Town Council passed this new Ordinance on June 4 to regulate the use of harmful materials and promote the use of environmentally preferred materials. The goal of this Ordinance is to protect Kiawah’s natural environment, waterways, and marine life to ensure a positive environmental impact on our island for generations to come.
The Ordinance does not apply to the following list of exemptions:
- Laundry dry cleaning bags, ice bags, or newspaper bags.
- Garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags.
- Cutlery (i.e., forks, spoons, knives), meat trays, plastic lids used to contain foods and liquids, and to-go condiments.
- Bags provided by physicians, pharmacists or veterinarians to contain prescription drugs or other medical necessities.
- Bags used inside business establishments to contain bulk items or small hardware items
- Meat, produce or bakery bags.
- Bags or wraps for flowers, potted plants or other items to prevent moisture damage.
- Bags used by a non-profit organization or hunger-relief charity to distribute food, grocery products, clothing, or other household items.
- Bags of any type that the customer brings to the store for their own use for carrying away goods from the store.
- Plastic straws necessary for customers with medical or physical conditions.
- Reusable carryout bags that meet the following criteria:
- Displays in a highly visible manner on the bag exterior, language describing the bag’s ability to be reused and recycled;
- Has a handle, except that handles are not required for carryout bags constructed out of recyclable paper with a height of less than fourteen (14) inches and width of less than eight (8) inches; and
- Is constructed out of any of the following materials:
- Cloth, canvas, or other washable fabric, or other durable materials whether woven or non-woven;
- Recyclable plastic with a minimum thickness of 4 mils; capable of being cleaned and disinfected, and has a minimum lifetime of one hundred twenty-five (125) uses;
- Recyclable paper.
- Products made from polystyrene/plastic foam, which are wholly encapsulated or encased by more durable material, including but not limited to surfboards, boats, and life preservers.
Businesses that do not comply with this ordinance may face fines up to $500 per offense and other penalties defined in the Enforcement and Penalties section of the Ordinance. If you are unsure about an item, contact Jim Jordan, Chairman of the Environmental Committee (843-768-5106 | email@example.com ) or Stephanie Braswell, Communications Manager (843-768-5113 | firstname.lastname@example.org ). More information can also be found on our frequently asked questions webpage at https://www.kiawahisland.org/plasticsbanfaq/
Request for Exemptions: A grocery establishment or food provider may request an exemption from the requirements of this Ordinance, for a period up to one year, upon written request to Jim Jordan, Chairman of the Environmental Committee. The request must show that the Ordinance would create an undue hardship or practical difficulty not generally applicable to other persons in similar circumstances. Requests should be sent to Jim Jordan via email at email@example.com or by mail to 4475 Betsy Kerrison Parkway, Kiawah Island, SC 29455.