April 13, 2016

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Several communities in South Carolina, including Isle of Palms, have banned single-use plastic bags and other containers or are considering such bans, because of the containers’ adverse impacts on the environment, particularly marine and wildlife.  The SC House wants these communities (and any others out there considering similar bans) to bag the bag bans and has proposed legislation that would limit communities’ rights to implement such restrictions.  H. 4793, if passed, would alter the SC Code to provide that only the General Assembly could regulate “auxiliary containers,” any disposable single-use merchandise, food or beverage containers.  The bill’s authors are motivated by their concern that “if individual political subdivisions of the State regulate auxiliary containers, there exists the potential for varying regulations which could lead to unnecessary increased costs for retail and food establishments to comply with the regulations.”  The bill is in the House Judiciary Committee and is expected to be discussed at the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee April 14.