Save the Plastic Bag Coalition will file lawsuit to fight San Francisco's proposed ban on single-use plastic bags; coalition currently involved in two other similar lawsuits in state

LOS ANGELES , February 17, 2012 () –

The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition reported that it will file a lawsuit in San Francisco in the next 30 days against a proposed ban on single-use plastic bags that will affect retail stores and restaurants, claiming it violates the state's Retail Food Code and an environmental impact report (EIR) was not prepared, reported Plastics News on Feb. 16.

This will be the third lawsuit the coalition files in California against ordinances banning the plastic bags, which it says are in conflict with California’s Retail Food Code, were not preceded by an EIR, or both.

The San Francisco-based coalition has told all jurisdictions that it intends to “sue to invalidate any ban of plastic bags at restaurants,” said Stephen Joseph, counsel for the coalition, Plastics News reported.

Another lawsuit against Santa Cruz County also goes against the state’s Retail Food Code, which prohibits local bans of plastic bags at restaurants. The suit is about to wrap up, however, because the county has repealed the ban, said Joseph, reported Plastics News.

In the third lawsuit, which is against San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA), the coalition notes that an EIR was not done. The IWMA claims that the California Environmental Quality Act exempts it from having to do an EIR before implementing a bag ban.

Recently, the coalition’s suit against San Luis Obispo was changed to focus on the IWMA and exclude cities as defendants, Plastics News reported.

Joseph said the California Supreme Court requires that an EIR be done prior to adopting a bag ban for cities or counties with more than 33,000 people, and San Luis Obispo has a population of 270,000.

The coalition has succeeded in convincing environmental groups to back down from some of their “wilder claims,” such as that plastic bags are more harmful to the environment than paper bags and concerning the collection of marine debris, said Joseph.

The primary source of this article is Plastics News, Akron, Ohio, on Feb. 16, 2012.


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