Palo Alto keeps partial ban on plastic bags

Palo Alto settled a lawsuit over its plastic bag ban. From the PA Weekly:

Under the settlement, the city will be able to maintain its ban. But any expansion of its scope would have to be accompanied by a complete environmental review.

The city’s current ban applies to seven supermarkets, three of which had voluntarily stopped using plastic bags before the ban was adopted. Only Safeway, JJ&F Food Store, Andronico’s and Mollie Stone’s were required to stop using plastic check-out bags.

Stephen Joseph, the attorney representing, said the group is pleased with the settlement because it ensures that the city’s ban on bags will not expand without a full review.

The City Council and staff have consistently indicated that they would like to ban plastic check-out bags from local pharmacies and other stores. The settlement essentially guarantees that the city’s quest to expand its bag ban will take longer than officials had hoped.

Save the Plastic Bag is a paper-thin disguise for plastic manufacturers. This is an example of using environmental laws for the purpose of delaying environmental reforms. While this problem is exaggerated, it does happen.
CGF hasn’t taken a position on plastic bag bans, but we do support a fee on both paper and plastic bags, both of which harm the environment. Local streams are littered with plastic, and we don’t want to see forests cut for unnecessary paper bags either.

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