On November 27, 2018, City Council approved an amended version of the Environmentally Acceptable Packaging and Products ordinance. View the final Ratified Ordinance (PDF). Enforcement of the ordinance is set to begin on January 1, 2020. More information about assistance during the 13 month transition period will be forthcoming.
Please note, there were many drafts of the ordinance shared with the community that were continually improved over time based on feedback from residents, businesses and City Council, please be sure to view the ratified version.
In Charleston, our environment is essential to our economy. This draft ordinance is designed to protect the engine of our economy and livability of our City so businesses, particularly those influenced by tourism, and residents can continue to enjoy what the beauty and bounty of Charleston's waterways offer for generations to come. Draft Ordinance
Single use plastic bags may not be provided to customers
Disposable service ware that contains polystyrene/plastic foam may not be provided to customers
Disposable service ware shall be recyclable or compostable
Polystyrene/plastic foam products may not be sold (foam coolers, cups, plates etc.) unless they are fully encapsulated (such as surfboards, reusable coolers, noodles, hot tub covers, etc.)
There are many exemptions to the above regulations, such as: newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, emergency and medical supplies, bulk item bags like nuts and produce, bags used for charity, meat trays, cutlery, plastic straws upon request, and more. (see page 4 for complete list)
There is an option to request an exemption any time for any unique circumstance that may arise
There is a one-year grace period built in before the ordinance would take effect (January 1, 2019)
We are thankful so many citizens, businesses and organizations have been engaged over the past few years and have contributed ideas to the ongoing discussion about regulating plastics.