Did a small California maker of disposable bags take on -- and beat -- "Big Plastic"? Today Inc. magazine posted a short interview with Andy Keller, president and founder of ChicoBag Co. that certainly paints it that way. The story, "How ChicoBag Battled Big Plastic," tells the story of the lawsuit brought by Hilex Poly Co. LLC, Superbag Corp. and Advance Polybag Inc. about allegedly false and misleading statements about plastic bags on ChicoBag's website and in its advertisements. In the Inc. interview, Keller portrays the plastics industry as a bully. "They were trying to bury us in legal fees," he told Issie Lapowsky. "They thought that under the threat of this huge lawsuit, I'd make a big public apology and regurgitate their talking points. "It was a stressful nine months. I felt like I was in a movie or a Tom Clancy novel, like I was a pawn in this massive corporate agenda." Superbag and Advance Polybag dropped out of the suit, and ChicoBag and Hilex settled the case last fall. Naturally, Keller stresses his side of the settlement. "My insurance company did end up paying them some money, which is infuriating to me, but if you look at the agreement, there were plenty of restrictions put on Hilex Poly. They agreed to print warning labels on their bags and to take down their pro-plastic-bag website. If anything was false and misleading, it was that website," he said. Hilex still has a pro-plastic-bag website, by the way. It's at www.bagtheban.com. For a more complete story on the settlement, check out Plastics News' story, "Hilex Poly and ChicoBag settle dispute over misleading statements on bags." I suppose that when two sides settle a lawsuit, both can claim victory -- as happened in this case. And with the wave of bag taxes and bans continuing to spread across the country, it's tough to make a case that the plastics industry is winning many battles.
Who won the battle with 'Big Plastic'?
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