Court upholds plastic bag ban

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 21, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Last week, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that cities have the right to ban the use of single-use plastic bags without conducting an environmental impact report (EIR) first.

A lawsuit was filed that asserted that the city of Manhattan Beach should have conducted an EIR prior to implementing its ban on plastic bags in 2008.  According to the Court’s decision, while there is some foreseeable increase in the use and negative environmental effects associated with the production and disposal of paper bags, “no evidence suggests that paper bag use by Manhattan Beach consumers in the wake of a plastic bag ban would contribute to those impacts in any significant way."

Despite the ruling, opponents of the plastic bag ban have stated they will continue to challenge such bans and seek a requirement for EIRs to be conducted prior to implementation.  Ban opponents also point out language in the Court’s decision that suggests larger cities may be required to conduct extensive EIRs before instituting a ban.

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