Plastic Bag Bans in the News

Tie it, don't fly it!

After the City of Santa Cruz banned single-use plastic bags this past July, a lobbying group representing plastic bag manufacturers has filed a suit challenging the ban. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

Stephen L. Joseph, lawyer for the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, filed suit last month in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, seeking a repeal of the ordinance passed in July. He said the city didn’t undertake sufficient environmental review of the potential impacts and, by exempting restaurants, has overstepped state law governing carry-out bags for food establishments.

The same lobbying group tried and failed to repeal a similar ban in Manhattan Beach, CA, last year. See the Sentinel item linked above for more information.

In related news, Santa Cruz County plans to revisit whether or not to include restaurants in the county’s plastic bag ban.

The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a public hearing on September 25 on reinstating a ban on plastic bags for takeout food. The original proposed law that went into effect back in March included restaurant bags, but that was removed during settlement negotiations to help resolve a lawsuit.

“The action we took almost a year ago was, in my view, a complete solution, and we backed off under threat of litigation,” said county Supervisor Mark Stone, author of the bag ban. ”I think it’s time to complete that action that we started.”

Here’s some good news from Illinois: plastic bag lobbyists tried to get legislation passed earlier this year that would have prevented cities and towns in Illinois from banning plastic bags and imposing fees on their use, but thanks to an enterprising and tenacious teenager named Abby Goldberg, Governor Pat Quinn vetoed it. Read the Chicago Tribune’s report here.

And here’s a terrific website to explore, bookmark, and come back to: The Plastic Bag Ban Report! Regularly updated by Atlanta businessman Ted Duboise, the site gathers reliable information on plastic bag bans worldwide, from Australia to Wales. Here’s California’s page.