Folly Beach and the Isle of Palms have banned plastic bags to protect sea life and the coastal environment, so Rep. Eric Bedingfield introduced a bill to prohibit such bans. Supporters are likely the same people who would rather re-fight the Civil War than allow the federal government to tell states what to do. They argue that states, being closer to voters, know what is best for their citizens. Why doesn't this extend to communities within the state?
Coastal residents are very protective of the coastal environment and more aware of their own needs than Big Brother state. Letting the customer decide “paper or plastic” at the point of purchase would be reasonable if only local residents were involved, but these areas draw large numbers of tourists and non-residents who may be less committed to preserving the coastal environment.
I suspect this bill is a way to pander to voters who loathe “tree huggers” and would oppose any conservation legislation even when it is in their best interest. Those who oppose this bill should contact their state representatives.
Rebecca G. Knapp