Aug 9 - Oakland Sued as Industry Attack Against Plastic Bag Bans Begins

In the first step of an anticipated industry attack against plastic bag bans and takeout food packaging ordinances, a plastics manufacturers organization has sued the City of Oakland alleging that its plastic bag ban will cause more environmental harm than help. The suit alleges that compostable bags may make their way accidentally into the recycling stream and gum up machinery, and that the production of alternative bags is more damaging to the environment than the production of plastic bags.

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Local communities have been anticipating such a line of attack from the plastics industry and many bag bans and food packaging recyclability ordinances passed recently have included language attesting that an environmental review is not necessary because the environmental benefits of switching from permanent plastics-which essentially never biodegrade in the environment and are made from nonrenewable resources-to materials that do biodegrade and are made from renewable resources is obvious.

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