Three California lawsuits highlight bag ban struggle

Brandi Shaffer

Published: February 16, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Public Policy, Suppliers, Sustainability, Packaging, Film & Sheet

SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 16, 2 p.m. ET) — The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition has its hands in several lawsuits fighting against bag bans in California.

A suit against Santa Cruz County is wrapping up, a suit against San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority is in its midst and a suit against the City and County of San Francisco will be filed within the next 30 days.

The Santa Cruz County suit was filed in response to a September 2011 ordinance that banned plastic bags in restaurants. However, the California Retail Food Code prohibits local bans of plastic bags at restaurants. Stephen Joseph, counsel for the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, said the County Board of Supervisors has repealed the ban and the suit has concluded.

“We have advised all jurisdictions that we will sue to invalidate any ban of plastic bags at restaurants,” Joseph said.

Still in progress, the suit against San Luis Obispo County IWMA is based on the organization’s claim that they are exempt from preparing an Environmental Impact Report under the California Environmental Quality Act before instituting a bag ban.

Joseph said the California Supreme Court requires comprehensive environmental reviews to be conducted to determine environmental impact before such a ban can be enacted if the city or county has a population larger than 33,000. San Luis Obispo’s population is 270,000.

Joseph recently adjusted the suit to exclude cities as defendants to focus specifically on the IWMA.

The third suit encompasses both issues from the previous lawsuits. The City and County of San Francisco’s ordinance to ban plastic bags pertains to retail stores and restaurants, which, Joseph reiterated, goes against the California Retail Food Code. He also said San Francisco did not prepare an EIR.

“Environmental groups have been spreading myths, misinformation, and exaggerations about plastic bags and plastics in general for many years,” Joseph said. “For much too long, the plastics industry didn’t fight back against the misinformation campaign.”

The San Francisco-based Save the Plastic Bag Coalition was formed in 2008 and Joseph said they have succeeded in their initiatives to convince major environmental groups to back down from what he refers to as some of their “wilder claims,” such as the collection of detrimental marine debris and the notion that plastic bags are more environmentally hazardous than paper bags.

“Our campaign is fighting for environmental truth, which is a wonderful cause,” Joseph said. “Environmental policy should be based on facts, not hype.”


Comments

Three California lawsuits highlight bag ban struggle

Brandi Shaffer

Published: February 16, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ferro sells another piece of its plastics business

December 19, 2014 3:33 pm ET

Ferro Corp. has sold its North American polymer additives business to a private equity firm for $154 million in cash.    More

Image

Alex Brands buys iconic Shrinky Dinks toys

December 19, 2014 3:15 pm ET

First Slinky, now Shrinky Dinks. What will toy and games investment firm Alex Brands buy next?    More

Image

Judge limits scope of jury verdict against JM Eagle

December 19, 2014 2:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Los Angeles said Dec. 18 that last year's jury verdict issued against J-M Manufacturing Co. — now JM Eagle — for...    More

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company head...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events