SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIF. (Feb. 3, 12:15 p.m. ET) — The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn the ban on plastic bags in San Luis Obispo County, California.
The lawsuit was filed Jan. 30 in the Superior Court for the state of California in San Luis Obispo County against the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority.
The ban, which was approved Jan. 11, is scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1 in both the unincorporated areas of the county and in the county's seven cities—-San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles and Pismo Beach.
The lawsuit said that the waste management authority did not complete an environmental impact report (EIR) prior to enacting the ban as required under the California Environmental Quality Act.
In its lawsuit, the coalition pointed out that in the July 2011 California Supreme Court decision that permitted the Manhattan Beach plastic ban to go into effect, the court said that cities or counties larger than the City of Manhattan Beach “will be required” to prepare EIRs before banning plastic bags.
The population of San Luis Obispo County in 2010 was 269,637—which is approximately eight times larger than Manhattan Beach, which has a population of 33, 852.
The lawsuit also asked the court to set aside the Jan. 11 vote, contending that the vote of the board member who represents the Templeton Community Service District was unauthorized.
A hearing on the lawsuit has been scheduled for March 22.
Including San Luis Obispo County, 51 cities and 12 counties in the United States have enacted bans on plastic bags. In addition, Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Md., have a 5-cent fee on plastic carryout bags, and Basalt, Colo., has a 20-cent fee on plastic carryout bags.