SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - An effort is underway to do away with plastic bags in Surfside Beach.
"Plastic bag leaches contaminants. If it's on you, it's in you," Goffinet McLaren said.
McLaren is a proponent against using plastic, so much so she started a petition to ban it across coastal Carolina. She said it not only hurts marine life, but people too.
"One of the chemicals used with plastic is EPA," McLaren said. "It's a plasticizer. It's used to harden plastic to shape it into different versions and forms of plastic."
A Change.org petition is circulating on social media pages urging the town of Surfside Beach to ban the use of plastic bags in the town. As of Monday afternoon, it had more than 500 signatures.
While some point to the dangers of plastic bags, others look at their benefits.
Dusty Cornish is the owner of Cheesesteak Factory in Surfside.
"Paper products are more expensive for us to purchase," Dusty Cornish, the owner of the Cheesesteak Factory in Surfside Beach, said. "By adding additional cost, you have to pass that onto the consumer. We're trying to give the best value to our customers."
Cornish, however, is making adjustments.
"Bring in your own bags. Bring in your reusable bags," he said. We'll pack it in that for you."
Surfside Beach Mayor Bob Childs noted that plastic materials will often get into the ocean.
"They affect the fish and the turtles," Childs said. "We're just kind of being proactive about this and letting our feelings be known."
During a town council meeting on Tuesday, council member Johnson suggested waiting to see if there will be any state legislature. Council member Julie Samples responded saying, ""We are the elected leaders. Let's not push this on somebody else. If you don't want to support it, that's cool, let's don't delay and push it on somebody else. Let's make the tough decisions."
Council member Courtney agreed, saying, "It's not just only the bags. It's the styrofoams, it's everything. I'm big on cleaning up the beach. I think it's a small step. I wish Horry County would pass it." I hope it works and I hope it doesn't push it on the small guys, so I want to be fair and hear every side of this."