Charleston's single-use plastics ban takes effect Jan. 1

New Year's Day marks the start of Charleston's ban on single-use plastics including merchandise and carryout bags.

Operations throughout the city, James Island and unincorporated Charleston County are required to discontinue their use of all non-recyclable and non-compostable disposable food containers and service wares such as styrofoam bowls, boxes, plates, straws and cups, starting Wednesday. The city ordinance also bans selling or renting polystyrene.

Exceptions to the regulations include some specialty items such as bags for raw, frozen or prepared foods, bread bags, bags for bulk grocery items, condiment packages, cutlery, deli bags, dry cleaning/garment bags, egg cartons, floral/plant wrapping, garbage bags, meat trays, newspaper bags, pet waste bags, plastic drink or soup container lids, produce bags and straws for use by consumers with disabilities.

The guidelines, which aim to sustain cleaner waterways and streets as well as environmentally protect the Charleston area, apply to all commercial and nonprofit operations.

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