Mar 27 - Plastic Industry Tries to Stall Carpinteria Bag Ban With Lawsuit

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Save the Plastic Bag Coalition (STPBC), an industry group that includes plastic bag makers, is trying to weaken yet another plastic bag ban. STPBC filed a complaint last week against the City of Carpinteria’s bag ban.

In this latest lawsuit, the STPBC lawyer has abandoned the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance argument traditionally used in other lawsuits, including the lawsuit against Marin County which it lost in Superior Court last year.

Instead, he is now making the farfetched argument that the California Retail Food Code preempts a ban of plastic bags in restaurants. STPBC is threatening litigation against any jurisdiction adopting wider bans that include food vendors.

A similar lawsuit against San Francisco is still pending.

Like Marin County, Carpinteria passed its ordinance using a Categorical Exemption under CEQA guidelines. Carpinteria adopted the first double bag ban in the state (banning plastic bags in all stores and restaurants, and banning paper bags in large retail stores) earlier this month. The ordinance was scheduled to go into effect this July in larger stores and expand to other applicable stores by next April.

Read the complaint.

Stay tuned on our website for updates to the court's decision. The plastic industry has already been defeated in the courts on past bag ordinance cases using CEQA and Prop 26 arguments.

(photo credit: Curtis Cartier)