For Immediate Release:
The Greater Bluffton Republican Club (GBRC) is opposing any proposed Plastic Bag Ban in Beaufort County, South Carolina as voted by the executive board.
The proposal is in direct violation of the following conservative principles of the GBRC: Taxation Only When Necessary, Limited Government, Private Property Rights & Innovation & Prosperity through a Free-Market Economy.
In addition, the GBRC opposes any Plastic Bag Ban on these grounds:
- Littering is already illegal – One of the main concerns over plastic bags is reducing litter. If litter is the problem, we should be penalizing residents & visitors who litter, not law-abiding citizens who use plastic bags lawfully and in most instances re-use and recycle them.
- Cost to consumers – The math is simple. Plastic costs 1 cent per bag, paper is 7 cents per bag. This adjustment will cost the average grocery store $20,000 per month to convert. To recoup these costs, prices of goods will be raised and the cost of the ban will be passed to consumers.
- Bags are not even #1 source of litter – As stated at the Natural Resources Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, single-use plastic bags are the fifth most prevalent type of litter picked up by conservationists. Cigarette butts are number one. Almost all municipalities who pass a plastic bag ban, do not see a reduction in litter. (Clemson University Life Cycle Assessment of Grocery Bags in Common Use in the United States – 2014)
- A Bag Tax will follow – In our research we were not able to find an occurrence where a tax did not accompany a plastic bag ban. Most residents will not feel an impact of a tax but those at or below the poverty line certainly will. Any proposed ban will hurt these residents the most.
- Exemptions – As discussed at the Natural Resources Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, zip-lock and newspaper bags will not be part of any ordinance. We fail to recognize how marine life in Beaufort County will be able to distinguish a grocery bag from a newspaper bag.
In conclusion, we respectfully request that all Conservatives and Beaufort County Council members not pursue and/or vote “No” on any Plastic Bag Ban proposals.
Greater Bluffton Republican Club Executive Board
President Sarah Kimball
Vice President Paul Runko
Treasurer Chris Hervochon
Secretary Mark Balinski
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