Disposable plastic bags contribute to the 9 million tons of plastic trash that enter our oceans each year. Birds, sea turtles, and other marine life often mistake the trash for food. The plastic then kills the animals or limits their ability to grow and reproduce. Today, 90 percent of seabirds eat plastic debris.
Audubon South Carolina is involved in two ways. First, we applaud progressive towns and cities that limit the use of disposable plastic bags by local stores.
Isle of Palms was the first in 2015. Folly Beach followed in 2016. Beaufort and its four muncipalties may be next, and we and our local members are very involved in that process. (Below you can download a detailed fact sheet and the latest draft of the Beaufort County ordinance.)
Second, Audubon South Carolina opposes any state effort to restrict the right of local communities to protect wildlife and keep their beaches clean. Fortunately, the last bill that attempted to tie the hands of local communities, H.3529, was shelved until 2018.
We helped ensure this victory by asking state legislators to protect the right to "Home Rule," and by reminding them that treasuring birds and wildlife is good business. In 2011, 1.7 million consumers spent $2 billion in South Carolina on hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching. Overall, consumers spend $18 billion per year in South Carolina on outdoor recreation, generating $1 billion annually in state and local tax revenue.
Where birds thrive, people prosper. So let's do everything we can to keep plastic away from wildlife in South Carolina!
PROJECT CONTACT: Nolan Schillerstrom, firstname.lastname@example.org