Polluters Sue Marin to Preserve Plastic Bags

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Shutterstock

    Marin residents are ready to ditch dirty plastic bags, which choke the environment and cause ecological chaos lasting thousands of years.

    Not so fast, says the plastic bag industry. They've failed suit against Marin, demanding that their bags remain tangled in trees, coiled around the necks of birds, and choking waterways.

    The lawsuit makes an unexpected argument: that the city failed to investigate the environmental impact of the bag ban, according to the San Rafael Patch. In other words, the plastic bag people are saying, plastic bags might actually be GOOD for the environment.

    According to people who get rich off of plastic bags, paper is far worse than plastic. But that's a misleading argument, say advocates of the ban. Studies show that preventing stores from using plastic bags does not cause an increase in paper bag usage. Instead, it simply causes shoppers to bring re-usable bags with them.

    Plastic bags are nearly impossible to recycle, so there's little than can be done with them other than tossing them in a landfill.

    The polluters admit that an Environmental Impact Report might simply result in proof that plastic bags are harmful. That's what happened in LA, San Jose, and Santa Monica, they point out. So why add to the expense and delay of the ban, especially when the Board of Supervisors is unanimously in favor of eliminating plastic bags? It's just another stall tactic.

    The Supervisors may have the last laugh. Dealing with the litigation will cost a few thousand dollars, but that's chump change compared to the Environmental Impact Report, which would cost millions. If they can get away with settling the lawsuit and skipping the EIR, they'll have saved a ton of time and cash.