Monday, June 26 , 2017, 6:12 pm | Fair 75º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Save the Plastic Bag Coalition Sues Carpinteria Over Single-Use Bag Ban

Complaint calls on the city to repeal its ordinance and to delay implementation until the case can go to trial

Carpinteria’s law banning single-use plastic bags at most stores and restaurants in the city has been met with a lawsuit, as promised by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition.

The ban applies to all single-use bags — plastic and paper — for large commercial establishments, and to plastic single-use bags for small commercial establishments and food providers. Those smaller stores and restaurants can offer recyclable paper bags or gift bags to customers.

Attorney Stephen Joseph, representing the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, filed a complaint in Santa Barbara County Superior Court asking for Carpinteria’s ordinance to be repealed, with implementation delayed until the case can go to trial.

The city’s ban is set to go into effect July 11 for large stores and next April for small stores and restaurants.

Following the lawsuit, Councilman Joe Armendariz issued a news release calling on his colleagues to amend the ordinance and avoid litigation. He cast the one dissenting vote for the ban when it was approved by the City Council.

“The City Council should only proceed in banning so-called single-use plastic bags if doing so could be done without exposing city taxpayers to expensive litigation,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday, and the City of Carpinteria had not filed a response as of Thursday.

Save the Plastic Bag Coalition members include companies that manufacture or supply plastic bags in Carpinteria — such as Good Packaging Inc. (or Command Packaging) — which “will suffer irreparable damage if their products are banned,” the complaint alleges.

Additionally, Joseph argues that only the state can regulate food transportation, storage and preparation, citing the California Retail Food Code. Without an injunction, he writes, consumers could suffer severe physical injury and property damage.

Paper bags aren’t waterproof and greaseproof like plastic ones, he said, and the spill danger of restaurant carryout bags “could be disastrous.”

The complaint is nearly identical to one filed against the city and county of San Francisco, which included restaurants in their bans.

The ruling in Save the Plastic Bag Coalition’s lawsuit against Manhattan Beach requires larger jurisdictions to conduct environmental reviews before implementing bans, while the suit against Santa Cruz County made the jurisdiction exempt restaurants, although the rest of the ban went into effect on Tuesday.

The City of Santa Barbara is considering its own plastic bag ban, but would exempt restaurants, a move likely to avoid a legal confrontation with Joseph.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >