What products does the ordinance apply to?

After January 1, 2020, operations will be required to stop using: Single-use plastic carryout bags, Non-Recyclable and Non-Compostable Disposable Food Containers and Service Ware, and polystyrene products.

  • Plastic Single-Use Carryout Bags 

    • Less than 4 mils thick

    • Intended for one-time use to transport purchases

    • Not included in exemptions outlined below

  • Non-Recyclable and Non-Compostable Disposable Food Containers and Service Ware

Polystyrene (also known as plastic foam or StyrofoamTM) and other non-recyclable and non-compostable food service ware, carryout containers and food packaging materials including —

  • Bowls
  • Boxes
  • Clamshells
  • Cups
  • Plates
  • Stirrers
  • Straws
  • Operations also will be required to stop selling or renting polystyrene:

  • Bowls, cups and plates
  • Coolers, containers and ice chests
  • Shipping boxes and packing material

Please note, there are specialty items that are not restricted or are exempt from restrictions. 

Show All Answers

1. What if an establishment is not following the new rules? How should I report a violator?
2. When did the ordinance go into effect?
3. Who needs to comply with the ordinance?
4. Do these regulations apply to vendors, food trucks, farmers markets, festivals, weddings, etc.?
5. What is the purpose of the Environmentally Acceptable Packaging/ Products ordinance?
6. Where can I find a copy of the full ordinance?
7. What products does the ordinance apply to?
8. Are there any exemptions or products not restricted to begin with?
9. What if I have questions or need additional information?
10. Who do I ask to find out if a particular product I use is recyclable and therefore compliant?
11. What are the types of products that are allowed for use under the ordinance?
12. What type of bag is considered reusable?
13. What is the most environmentally sensitive choice I can make as a business owner or consumer?
14. What should retailers do if they have large stocks of plastic bags that last beyond the January 1, 2020 effective date?
15. I think I have a hardship in complying with this ordinance. What should I do?
16. Is every type of plastic bag prohibited?
17. How do I know if a particular product I use is compostable and therefore compliant?
18. As a customer, can I bring my own single-use plastic carryout bags to the store?
19. Do I have to charge my customers for paper bags?
20. Is there a requirement for recycled content in paper bags?
21. How will this be enforced?
22. Is the City of Charleston coordinating with other local jurisdictions on this?