Petition seeks to ban plastic bags in Surfside Beach

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There's a new petition calling on stores in one town to stop giving away something you probably take home every time you shop: plastic bags.

The petition was started to ban plastic shopping bags – they can act like a parachute in the wind, blowing off into the ocean or through storm drains, and potentially hurting marine life.

"I see the ocean and I feel completely guilty about it," said Jenn Cribb, the Surfside Beach resident who started the petition. Living on the Surfside strip, Cribb knows she's sharing the shore with marine life, and she wants to protect those neighbors.

The bags can easily end up in the ocean, and end up in the bellies of sea turtles who mistake the bags for jelly fish.

"Sometimes we all need a stirring up, to strike a cause, get things going," Cribb said.

Cribb created a petition for people in Surfside to sign. The goal is to ban businesses from using plastic bags, and restrict them to use paper bags or reusable options.

"I've been guilty of it, instead of asking for the paper, and I'm in a hurry, they give me plastic and I think later 'oh my goodness, this isn't what we're supposed to be doing,'" Cribb said.

But with so many stores and customers using the plastic bags - what is the reality of banning them completely?

Surfside Beach Mayor Doug Samples commended Cribb on her mission, but doesn't see an ordinance in the near future. He doesn't think it is the town's place to tell businesses to ban bags.

Regardless, Cribb plans on bringing the petition to the council.

"There's a few handfuls of towns across the United States that have already put this into action, and I think we need to copy them," Cribb said.

Cribb says she is proud of how progressive Surfside is - already adding recycling and no smoking ordinances on the beach. She believes this ban will help keep the coast even cleaner.

Read more about the petition and sign it yourself here:

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