Sues Los Angeles County to Overturn Plastic Bag Ban

2008-07-24 07:09:00 Sues Los Angeles County to Overturn Plastic Bag Ban

    LOS ANGELES, July 24 /EMWNews/ -- is a newly

formed coalition of businesses and citizens. The coalition seeks to counter

the one-sided myths and misinformation circulating on the Internet and in

the media that have resulted in plastic bags being unfairly stigmatized.

The coalition believes that it is time to answer back with the facts and

has launched an information website at

The coalition has also sued the County of Los Angeles to overturn a plastic

bag ban adopted earlier this year by the Board of Supervisors.

    The website

    If plastic bags are taxed or banned, paper bag usage will increase

dramatically. The website refers to independent third party reports showing

that paper bags are far more damaging to the environment than plastic bags.

-- Paper bags result in 3.3 times more greenhouse gas emissions than plastic bags. -- Paper bags require far more energy to produce and transport than plastic bags. -- Paper bags attract cockroaches, which is a major concern in apartment buildings. -- Paper bags are less reusable than plastic bags. Some anti-plastic bag activists claim that hundreds of thousands of mammals and seabirds ingest or become entangled in plastic bags each year. In fact, as discussed on the website, activists have been using the same five photographs repeatedly to make their point. The coalition condemns this misleading practice. There is no evidence whatsoever that large numbers of sea mammals or seabirds are being injured by plastic bags. The London Times has exposed the myth in a report entitled "Series of Blunders Turned The Plastic Bag Into Global Villain," which can be found on the website. The website also exposes the myth that plastic bags are made out of oil and that millions of barrels of oil are used annually in the United States to make the plastic bags that Americans use. Plastic bags made in the United States are not made out of oil. If plastic bags are banned, it would have no impact whatsoever on our foreign oil dependence. A new tax on shopping A bill is pending in the California Senate (AB 2058) that would force retailers to charge shoppers 25 cents for each plastic carryout bag provided by supermarkets and large retail stores. This would be a new tax on shopping at a time when food prices are skyrocketing. The coalition believes that the sponsors of the bill are being highly insensitive to economically disadvantaged consumers at a difficult time in our economy, simply to placate a small yet vocal group of anti-plastic bag activists. The coalition wants consumers to speak out and let their elected representatives know they do not want a plastic bag tax or a ban, or any other form of government restriction of their freedom to choose paper or plastic, especially if it based on myths and misinformation. Consumers and retailers do not want a plastic bag police. A link on the website enables everyone to express their opposition in e-mails that will be provided to decision-makers. The lawsuit In January 2008, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a phased program to ban plastic bags. The program would massively boost usage of paper bags. The coalition is asking the Los Angeles County Superior Court to invalidate the program because the county failed to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before voting to adopt it. This was a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Instead of preparing an EIR, county staff prepared a report that was nothing more than a one-sided anti-plastic bag advocacy document. For example, there was no mention in the report about the negative environmental impacts of paper bags.

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