It’s an environmental movement that’s gaining momentum across the Bay Area and up and down the state. One city after another is banning plastic bags. But one man is intent on standing in the way. He’s a San Francisco attorney who’s fighting to save the plastic bag by filing lawsuits to block the bans.
Stephen Joseph, who represents a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers, said he is suing San Francisco, Marin County, San Luis Obispo and the city of Carpenteria over their plastic bag bans.
Over the last two years, Joseph said he has forced cities and counties to repeal portions of their plastic bag bans. He disagrees that the bags harm wildflife.
But to many environmentalists, Joseph's efforts are indeed threatening the lives of many wild species. The nonprofit, Save Our Shores, reported collecting 8,500 plastic bags in Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Monterey counties last year. Spokeswoman Laura Kasa showed NBC Bay Area how a baby otter was trapped in one such plastic bag.
Ultimately, Kasa said the bag manufacturers will be on the losing end of a rising tide of environmental awareness.