Litter remains a problem for South Carolina’s image and for the attitude it reflects among too many South Carolinians.
Why anyone with an ounce of public consciousness would discard trash along roadsides and anywhere else outside designated locations is a mystery to the many who not only don’t litter but spend time cleaning up the litter deposited by others. Littering reflects an attitude of uncaring that is certain to show up in other aspects of litterers’ lives with regard to respect for anything and everything, including human life itself.
But because there are those who cannot be expected to behave in the best interest of themselves and all, there are laws that punish offenders. In South Carolina, litter laws were strengthened in 2018 and are being more strictly enforced. A recent case in Orangeburg County Court of General Sessions, though involving other offenses, resulted in a man being jailed for 30 days for littering.
But just as no law stops all offenders all the time, littering cannot be controlled by enforcement alone. It takes caring people unwilling to litter and willing to clean up when others do.
Locally, Orangeburg County Councilwoman Janie Cooper-Smith has a been a leader in anti-litter efforts. Now she’s getting some help from another elected leader on the state level.
Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette and PalmettoPride want South Carolinians to grab a bag and clean up their communities. Grab A Bag SC is a statewide litter pickup challenge inspired by Evette’s own experience picking up in her home community and even during her family vacations.
On Nov. 16, Evette will kick off Grab A Bag SC in Travelers Rest with a press conference followed by a litter pickup event in her hometown. Citizens across the state are encouraged to go out and do the same on that day – grab a bag and pick up litter.
“We are all blessed to live in South Carolina, a place filled with natural beauty and abundant resources,” Evette said. “Just like all of you, I love this state, and I am confident that if we all do a little bit, together we can have a tremendous impact.”
“One thing Lt. Gov. Evette said that resonated with me was that we need to act as citizens of South Carolina and not customers,” said Sarah Lyles, executive director of PalmettoPride. “This state belongs to all of us and it will take all of us to keep it a clean and beautiful place to live.”
PalmettoPride is coordinating the event and has a signup page on www.palmettopride.org. It is asking participants to sign up before Nov. 16, 2019, and to post a picture with the hashtag #GrabABagSC following the cleanup.
It starts with one bag, one piece of trash and all of us working together creating a litter-free South Carolina. Evette’s focus on litter can help.
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