|Expanded Ban Bags Lawsuit|
|Wednesday, March 21 2012|
Recently, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a measure largely banning the use of plastic bags by city retailers. The new ordinance is an expansion of the city's existing ban on plastic bags at grocery stores and pharmacies, which now includes all stores and restaurants. Now the city is being sued over its expanded ban.
In a motion filed by Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, the group's attorney, Stephen Joseph, argues that the passage of the ordinance violates the California Environmental Quality Control Act because a lengthy environmental review was not conducted before the measure was enacted. "The California Retail Food Code preempts and prohibits cities and counties from taking these matters into their own hands," Joseph argues.
The group contends that not only are plastic bags less environmentally hazardous than paper bags, but the 10-cent fee the measure imposed on the use of paper bags won't actually have an demonstrable impact on their consumption. "A 10-cent fee is, or may be, far too low to act as an effective incentive to promote the use of reusable bags. Very few people will carry a reusable bag to Macy's or other department stores to save a dime," the lawsuit read.
Supporters of the ban argue that plastic bags are a nuisance and clog up landfills.