Sept 13 - Local Bag News: Santa Cruz County Passes Ban, Marin County Update

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Today has been a great day for plastic bag ban advocates. This morning, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass a plastic bag ordinance. At around the same time, the Marin County Superior Court was listening to the oral argument for the County’s bag ordinance case.

Santa Cruz County now becomes the fourteenth jurisdiction to pass a bag ordinance in the state. The ordinance bans single-use plastic bags and places a 10 cent fee on paper bags starting March 20, 2012. It impacts unincorporated areas of the county only, and is anticipated to be adopted at the ordinance’s second reading next Tuesday.

Oral argument for the lawsuit against Marin County’s plastic bag ordinance was taken under submission this morning at the County Superior Court. The petitioner, Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, requested a statement of determination which must be submitted within 9 days. Thus, Judge Lynn Duryee did not issue a final ruling today as CAW had expected, but will review and make a decision after the objections have been submitted. We're still hopeful for a favorable ruling along the lines of the tentative ruling.

In related news, the lawsuit against ChicoBags, a reusable bag company sued by plastic bag manufacturers, has been dropped. ChicoBag founder Andy Keller stated,

"Ultimately, I hope this settlement will encourage Hilex Poly and the rest of the plastic bag industry to refrain from filing any future frivolous lawsuits, stop attacking reusable bags, and instead invest their dollars into reducing unnecessary single-use bag consumption and litter, while developing solutions to meet the growing consumer demand for more sustainable products."