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Court rejects appeal of Marin County, Calif., bag ban

By: Jeremy Carroll

October 3, 2013

The California Supreme Court denied a petition to review an appeal against a plastic bag ban in Marin County.

The ordinance in Marin County, which bans plastic bags and puts a 5-cent fee on paper bags handed out at checkout at retail establishments, began Jan. 1, 2012. The law applies to those businesses that fall in unincorporated areas of the county, approximately 40 businesses in total, according to the county.

But Save the Plastic Bag Coalition sued to stop the law after it was passed, saying the county didn’t complete an environmental impact study. The California Court of Appeals upheld the law June 25.

On Oct. 2, the state Supreme Court denied the organization’s petition for the court to review the case, according to court records.

The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition has argued that a 2011 state Supreme Court ruling requires cities to review the environmental impact of banning plastic bags. Environmental impact studies can often be lengthy and expensive. Marin County argued it was exempt from the state’s California Environmental Quality Act because the ban was a regulatory action designed to “assure the maintenance, restoration, enhancement or protection of natural resources and the environment.”