Plastics Litigation Tracker

Guarini Center on Energy, Environment, and Land Use Law State Energy and Environmental Impact Center

This track­er was launched July 15, 2022. It was last updat­ed April 9, 2024.

The Plastics Litigation Tracker tracks cases addressing plastics across federal and state courts. It includes resolved cases and cases that are still pending. The cases can be filtered by category, plaintiff, defendant, and jurisdiction. They are listed in reverse chronological order based on the date of the latest update in each case. Where there is no decision, the cases will appear in alphabetical order. Descriptions of the categories can be found here. This blog post gives an introduction to the project and analyzes trends evident from the cases in the tracker at the time it was launched.

The tracker will be updated as cases are resolved and new cases are filed. To submit cases, updates, or corrections to this database, please email [email protected].

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Keywords: last beach cleanup

The Last Beach Cleanup v. Gelson's Markets, No. 22STCV18216 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2022)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
NGO
Industry
10/18/2023
California
Plastic Ban; State Codes

Allegations: Plaintiff, an environmental non-profit, alleges that Gelson's Markets continues to sell non-recyclable plastic grocery bags to consumers despite a California law requiring that all plastic reusable grocery bags be recyclable. Plaintiff seeks an order enjoining Defendant's unlawful conduct. Filed 6/3/2022. See complaint here.

Status: Settlement pending. On October 18, 2023, Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a settlement agreement, whereby Defendant agreed to stop purchasing plastic bags for resale by November 1, 2023, and to stop selling or distributing plastic bags in California by January 31, 2024. Defendant also agreed to remove its in-store drop-off bins for plastic recycling, by December 31, 2023. A settlement hearing is scheduled for June 12, 2024.

The Last Beach Cleanup v. Stater Brothers, No. 22STCV18252 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2022)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
NGO
Industry
8/15/2023
California
Plastic Ban; State Codes

Allegations: Plaintiff, a non-profit dedicated to ending plastic pollution, alleges that Defendant continues to sell non-recyclable plastic bags despite the California law banning the sale of non-recyclable plastic bags. Plaintiff seeks an order enjoining Defendant's unlawful conduct. Filed 6/3/2022. See complaint here.

Status: Pending. On April 3, 2023, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint, which was granted on June 22, 2023. The second amended complaint was filed on June 28, 2023, which listed Slater Bros. Markets, a plastic company, a plastic waste company, and a chemical testing company, as defendants. Plaintiff also included the California Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery, as a real party in interest. On July 31, 2023, the California Department of Recycling and Recovery filed a general denial. On March 15, 2024, Plaintiff filed a third amended complaint.

The Last Beach Cleanup v. Terracycle, Inc., No. RG21090702 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2021)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
NGO
Industry
11/15/2021
California
False Advertising

Allegations: Plaintiff, an environmental organization, brought this action against TerraCycle, Inc. and other plastic bottle producers seeking injunctive relief. Plaintiffs sought to enjoin Defendants' acts of unfair competition and other unlawful practices. Plaintiff alleged that Defendants violated California's unfair competition and false advertising laws, as well as the Environmental Marketing Claims Act, because Defendants advertised, marketed, and sold products and packaging made from single-use plastics and other materials marked with an unqualified representation stating that they are recyclable--despite the products being difficult to recycle. Filed 3/24/21. See complaint here.

Outcome: Closed. On November 15, 2021, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. Per the agreement, Defendants agreed to maintain records substantiating the validity of their recycling representations, not license or permit their names to be used on labels or advertising without compliance with the substantiation requirement, and limit their name to be used for products that are part of an unlimited waste program.