Single-use plastic ban in North Myrtle Beach takes effect Friday with one exception

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:25 AM EDT
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The single-use plastic bag ban in North Myrtle Beach will officially take effect on Friday, but not all plastic bags are banned yet.

During a special-called meeting on Wednesday, the city council passed a first reading that makes an amendment to the ban.

The amendment allows the use of reusable plastic bags with a thickness of 2.25 mm or greater.

It was recommended by city administrators because of the supply chain issues that businesses are experiencing.

“Several local and national businesses told city leaders that they were having trouble obtaining paper bags and reusable bags,” the city said in a press release.

Those strains were felt by grocery stores like Boulineau’s, with a spokesperson saying that the transition is causing financial stress.

“[The] single-use plastic bags that we are currently using cost 38 cents per bag,” said Anna Bowers. “The paper bags we are switching to cost 35 cents per bag. So that is a 10 times cost difference that in one year is going to average about $250,000 in financial impact on us.”

The city will then revisit the issue of reusable plastic bags in 24 months to see if there is still an issue obtaining reusable bags due to supply chain issues.

The city also explained that reusable plastic bags are more readily available and can be used up to 125 times.

The single-use plastic bag ban was originally passed in 2019, but the deadline was extended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was extended again to July 2022 to allow businesses more time to adapt.

City leaders plan to have a final reading on the amendment in a few weeks.

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