SF Sued Over Plastic Bag Ban

Backers of the plastic bag have sued San Francisco in court.

By Chris Roberts
|  Saturday, Mar 3, 2012  |  Updated 7:54 AM PDT
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SF Sued Over Plastic Bag Ban

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That's a fine bag, and it's contraband -- at least for now.

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The bag is striking back.

San Francisco's first-in-the-country ban on plastic bags -- which began in 2007 but was expanded last month to included single-use bags at all restaurants, including for take-out orders -- has been challenged with a lawsuit in court, filed by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition.

Under the current law, single-use plastic bags will carry a 10-cent fee from merchants for reusable bags. The entire law, from beginning to end, would be invalidated if the lawsuit filed Wednesday is successful, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The law violates the California Environmental Quality Act, and the city can't regulate restaurants because of state rules, according to attorney Stephen Joseph. The city never performed a full Environmental Impact Review on the plastic bag ban, according to Joseph.

Los Angeles County performed an EIR before its ban, which was not challenged by Joseph. A court ruiling on a suit filed against the city of Manhattan Beach ruled that smaller cities don't need to perform EIRs; bigger cities like San Francisco could be a different matter.

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