The ocean vastly supports human life. Humans depend on the ocean for:
Since the ocean is vital to the earth's systems it must be protected and managed responsibly to sustain life for future generations: everyone is responsible for caring for the ocean.
The Resiliency and Sustainability Advisory Committee regularly discussed plastic pollution and reviewed draft ordinances and provided opportunities for members of the public to comment. The topic was discussed at seven public meetings over the last few years with enthusiastic support from residents and businesses:
From March 2016 through November 2016, the Plastic Bag Minimization Committee met and was comprised of City of Charleston government officials, concerned local citizens, conservation groups, and business groups, including the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and Lowcountry Local First.
The coalition that conducted this survey included:
The purpose of this committee was to evaluate options (including education or ordinances) for minimizing plastic bags because of the tendency for single use plastic bags to become litter, whether they are disposed of or recycled, whether properly or improperly. The Committee's work was citizen-driven, formulated after community members brought the issue to Mayor John Tecklenburg for study.
A key part of this evaluation was to understand the perspectives of citizens and business owners. Thus, an opinion survey on plastic bag usage throughout Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties was created. See the full survey results (PDF). Thank you to the nearly 5,000 people who participated in the survey.
From these results, it is clear that both businesses and citizens would like action to be taken to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.