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Standing Up for Local Plastic Bag Bans

Last updated: 7/18/2013

On June 25, 2013, the California Court of Appeal upheld Marin County’s plastic bag ban against a legal challenge brought by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition. This is the latest victory for local governments against the plastics industry and its allies.

Since 2009, California local governments have beaten 12 lawsuits or settled the suit on favorable terms. Yet, other California cities have held off on banning plastic bags because plastic bag groups threaten to sue using the same legal theory that was just rejected by the Court of Appeal. Without an appellate court’s guidance, our local governments face a difficult choice: defend a costly lawsuit or continue to suffer environmental and economic injury from plastic bags.

Environment California Research & Policy Center is standing up for California’s cities. We’ve asked the Court of Appeal to make its opinion an official legal precedent. If our petition is accepted, other cities will be allowed to rely on the court’s findings when defending their own plastic bag ordinances from near-identical plastics industry attacks.

You can read the court’s opinion here.

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