What are the types of products that are allowed for use under the ordinance?

Establishments will be able to choose from numerous affordable alternatives and certain specialty items will still be allowed.

Reusable Bags and Recyclable Paper Bags

Reusable Bags

  • Cloth or other washable fabric or plastic bags at least 4 mils thick
  • A minimum lifetime of 125 uses
  • With handles and clear display of information on reuse/recycling

Recyclable Paper Bags

  • Paper bags of all sizes
  • With and without handles
  • Including glossy gift bags with handles

Recyclable or Compostable Disposable Food Containers and Service Ware

Food service ware, containers and packaging made out of materials that are compostable** or are accepted by the Charleston County recycling program*** including —

  • Aluminum
  • Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Recyclable plastics

**Use of compostable products must be combined with an active composting program to be considered acceptable. Visit the Charleston County website  for more information on materials accepted for composting (https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/environmental-management/compost-program.php) and ***recycling (https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/environmental-management/recycle-what.php).

**All service ware must be free of any food residue to be accepted for recycling in Charleston County. 

Show All Answers

1. What if an establishment is not following the new rules? How should I report a violator?
2. When did the ordinance go into effect?
3. Who needs to comply with the ordinance?
4. Do these regulations apply to vendors, food trucks, farmers markets, festivals, weddings, etc.?
5. What is the purpose of the Environmentally Acceptable Packaging/ Products ordinance?
6. Where can I find a copy of the full ordinance?
7. What products does the ordinance apply to?
8. Are there any exemptions or products not restricted to begin with?
9. What if I have questions or need additional information?
10. Who do I ask to find out if a particular product I use is recyclable and therefore compliant?
11. What are the types of products that are allowed for use under the ordinance?
12. What type of bag is considered reusable?
13. What is the most environmentally sensitive choice I can make as a business owner or consumer?
14. What should retailers do if they have large stocks of plastic bags that last beyond the January 1, 2020 effective date?
15. I think I have a hardship in complying with this ordinance. What should I do?
16. Is every type of plastic bag prohibited?
17. How do I know if a particular product I use is compostable and therefore compliant?
18. As a customer, can I bring my own single-use plastic carryout bags to the store?
19. Do I have to charge my customers for paper bags?
20. Is there a requirement for recycled content in paper bags?
21. How will this be enforced?
22. Is the City of Charleston coordinating with other local jurisdictions on this?