Earlier this year, Beaufort County Council adopted an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags to help reduce negative environmental impacts and pollution from plastic bags while promoting the use of paper or reusable bags for shopping.
While the ban goes into effect on October 14th to stop providing plastic bags at checkout counters in countywide municipalities, some businesses may choose to implement the ban sooner than that date and retailers in Beaufort County’s unincorporated areas have until November 1st to stop providing single-use plastic shopping bags to customers. These are businesses that lie within the county that are not part of a municipality.
Enforcement of the ordinance will be on a complaint and inspection basis.
Customers may bring their own reusable bag(s) or be provided a substitute bag from the retailer. Some retailers may offer reusable bags for purchase. Customers should check with retailers regarding specific options.
During the next few months, Beaufort County will take steps to educate affected businesses, residents and visitors about the new ordinance through advertisements, flyers, news releases, public service announcements, social media and videos.
Any business owner that violates the ordinance will be written a warning notice initially. An owner can be charged up to $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense within a 12-month period and $500 for any additional violation within a 12-month period.
Additional information to include a copy of the ordinance is available here.