CA Supreme Court Sides With Manhattan Beach on Bag Ban

Posted by — July 14, 2011 8:31 am

In a decision just announced, the California Supreme Court unanimously sided with the Manhattan Beach City Council, who in July of 2008, passed an ordinance banning the distribution of plastic bags at the point-of-sale for all retail establishments.  The ban had been on hold due to a lawsuit brought by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, a largely unidentified group, lead by Stephen Joseph, a California attorney.  The Coalition has brought several suits against various municipalities whose local governments have voted to reduce single-use plastic bags.

The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition  had claimed that Manhattan Beach needed an Environmental Impact Report to proceed with their ban on plastic bags, while Manhattan Beach asserted there was no need for such a costly and time consuming report.   Although the court has agreed with Manhattan Beach, the decision also focuses specifically on the small size of the community.  Whether other, larger communities might come under attack by the plastics industry for initiating mandatory single-use bag reduction,  is unclear.  As part of the decision, the court declared: “Substantial evidence and common sense support the city’s determination that its ordinance would have no significant environmental effect,”

We will keep our readers updated on when the ban of single use plastic bags in Manhattan Beach  will go into effect.