The Coalition to Enforce SB 270 is slowly dismissing plastic bag producers or distributors from its public-interest litigation as they come into compliance with California's reusable grocery bag law.
Los Angeles-based lawyer Stephen Joseph, the coalition's co-founder, sued 28 companies on Dec. 27 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Following an initial courtroom conference on Aug. 22, Joseph said, "There are 18 defendants remaining. I predict that we will be dismissing more defendants very soon as they agree to become compliant. We have gone from zero enforcement to full enforcement as a result of the lawsuit."
Effective Sept. 30, 2014, Senate Bill 270 banned single-use carryout plastic grocery bags and created a reusable grocery bag program under the CalRecycle agency, officially the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.
Joseph's status report filing for the case listed the 18 remaining defendants: Capital Plastic Inc., ChicoEco Inc., Custom Earth Promos LLC, Durabag Co. Inc., E-Z Plastic Packaging Corp., Gbag Inc., Global Packaging Supply Inc., Inteplast Films Corp., Inteplast Group Ltd., International Food Packaging Inc., Jroc Enterprises Inc., Oceana Inc., Pan Pacific Plastics Manufacturing Inc., Rinco International Inc., S. Walter Packaging Corp., Trinity Plastics Inc., Tri-Star Plastics & Molding Inc. and Uetek Corp.
Each of those defendants is listed as being "ready for trial."
Here are the 10 dismissals: Bag Arts the Art of Packaging LLC, Earthwise Bag Co. Inc., Enviro-Tote Inc., Impex Manufacturing Associates Inc., Omega Extruding Corp. of California, Performance Packaging of Nevada LLC, Poly-Pak Industries Inc., Soluplastic International Inc., the Avantage Group Inc. and Wesco Plastic Co.
Judge Mitchell Beckloff scheduled the case's second trial-setting conference at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 21 in the court's central district.
CalRecycle staff members are working through public comments from an Aug. 15 workshop regarding the establishment of regulations for full implementation of SB 270.
CalRecycle expects to issue a revised draft in several weeks, solicit a new round of comments and hold another workshop.