Plastics Litigation Tracker

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

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]​nyu.​edu.

47 results match your search.   Download as CSV

Save the Plastic Bag Coal. v. City & Cty. of S.F., No. A137056 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
1/3/2014
California
Plastic Ban

Allegations: Plaintiff, an association of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors, brought an action against the City and County of San Francisco seeking a writ of mandate to prevent the implementation and enforcement of a local ordinance regulating the use of plastic checkout bags by large supermarkets and retail pharmacies. The Plaintiff argued that the ordinance violated the California Environmental Quality Act.

Outcome: The trial court denied the petition. On appeal, the Court affirmed, holding that the ordinance was a police power regulatory action to which the categorical exemptions of CEQA applied.

Save the Plastic Bag Coal. v. Cty. of Marin, No. A133868 (Cal. Ct. App. 2011)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
7/25/2013
California
Plastic Ban

Allegations: Plaintiff, an association of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors, brought an action against the County of Marin seeking a write of mandate to prevent the implementation and enforcement of a local ordinance banning the use of single use carryout bags. Plaintiff argued that the ordinance failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and therefore must be set aside.

Outcome: The Marin County superior court denied the writ of mandate and declaratory relief. On appeal, the Court affirmed, holding that the ordinance was exempt from the CEQA.

Save the Plastic Bag Coal. V. San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Mgmt. Auth., No. CV120078 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2012)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
10/1/2012
California
Plastic Ban

Allegations: Plaintiff, an association of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors, brought an action against the City of Manhattan Beach seeking a writ of mandate. The Plaintiff challenged an ordinance banning the use of single-use plastic bags. Filed 1/30/2012.

Outcome: Court denied writ of mandate and ruled that the waste management agency's decision not to conduct further environmental review was appropriate.

Save the Plastic Bag Coal. v. City of Long Beach, No. BS-132500 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2011)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
10/17/2011
California
Plastic Ban

Allegations: Plaintiff, an association of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors, brought an action against the City of Long Beach seeking a writ of mandate. The Plaintiff challenged a city ordinance prohibiting stores from providing plastic carry-out bags to consumers. Filed 6/9/2011.

Outcome: In exchange for the city resolution adopting the county environmental impact report and retracting and cancelling any part of the addendum inconsistent with the environmental impact report, the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition agreed to dismiss the lawsuit.

Save the Plastic Bag Coal. v. City of Manhattan Beach, No. S180720 (Cal. 2010)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
7/14/2011
California
Plastic Ban

Allegations: Plaintiff, an association of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors, brought an action against the City of Manhattan Beach seeking a writ of mandate. The Plaintiff challenged the city issuance of a negative declaration regarding an ordinance banning the distribution of plastic bags at the point of sale.

Outcome: The superior court granted Plaintiff petition. On appeal, the court of appeal affirmed. The Court reversed, holding that the Plaintiff had a public interest standing to seek enforcement of the city alleged duty to prepare an environmental impact report, that corporations are not held to a higher standard than individuals in qualifying for public interest standing, that the Plaintiff had standing in its own right to seek enforcement, but also that the ordinance would have had no significant effect on the environment.

Coalition to Support Plastic Bag Recycling v. City of Oakland, No. RG07339097 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2007)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
4/17/2008
California
Plastic Ban

Allegations: Plaintiff, an association of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors, brought an action against the City of Oakland seeking a writ of mandate. The Plaintiff challenged a city ordinance banning the distribution of plastic carry-out bags by large retailers. Filed 11/21/2007.

Outcome: The court granted petitioners' writ of mandate directing respondent (City) to suspend implementation and enforcement of the ordinance, vacate, and set aside the ordinance.

Alternate Fuels, Inc. v. Dir. of the Ill. EPA, No. 96071 (Ill. 2004)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
6/16/2005
Illinois
Environmental Protection

Allegations: Plaintiff, alternative fuel producer, brought an action against the state Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking a declaratory judgment that neither the material used to make fuel nor the fuel itself was waste within the meaning of the state Environmental Protection Act (after the state EPA issued a violation notice to the Plaintiff requiring it to submit permit applications for waste storage and waste treatment operation).

Outcome: The circuit court granted summary judgment to the Plaintiff and granted a summary determination in favor of the EPA for attorney fees. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed. The Court affirmed and denied petition for rehearing, holding that the issue of whether the material was waste under the Act was ripe for review and justiciable, the materials were not discarded and therefore were not waste under the Act, and the EPA incorrect statutory interpretation was not rulemaking and did not entitle the Plaintiff to attorney fees.

Plastic Pipe & Fittings Ass'n v. Cal. Bldg. Standards Com., No. B166499 (Cal. Ct. App. 2003)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
12/15/2004
California
State Codes

Allegations: Plaintiff, trade association, brought an action against the California Building Standards Commission and state agencies seeking to compel the Defendants to adopt certain provisions of the Uniform Plumbing Code involving the use of polyethylene pipes (PEX) as part of the California Plumbing Code without environmental review.

Outcome: The trial court granted a peremptory write of mandate compelling this adoption. The Court reversed, with directions to the superior court to vacate the peremptory write of mandate and to enter a judgment denying the petition, holding that evidence from the administrative record supported conclusions that the use of PEX could present an unreasonable risk of harm and that environmental review was necessary.

Colbro Ship Mgmt. Co. v. United States, No. 3:98-cv-01052 (D.P.R. 1998)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
2/3/2000
Federal
Clean Water Act

Allegations: Plaintiff, shipowner, brought an action against the United States to review a United States Coast Guard decision assessing a monetary penalty against it under the Clean Water Act. Filed 1/23/1998.

Outcome: The Court granted the Defendant motion for summary judgment, holding that the Coast Guard determination of responsibility was supported by substantial evidence and that the civil penalty was not an abuse of discretion.

Soc'y of Plastics Indus. v. Cty. of Suffolk, No. 11262/1988 (N.Y. Sup Ct. 1988)

Plaintiff
Defendant
Latest Case Update
Jurisdiction
Category
Industry
Government
5/9/1991
New York
Plastic Ban

Allegations: Plaintiffs, trade organization and plastic product producer, brought an action against the County of Suffolk challenging the constitutionality of a local law banning the use of certain plastics. The association argued that the county failed to conduct an adequate environmental review under the state Environmental Quality review Act before passing the law.

Outcome: The Suffolk County supreme court declared the law unconstitutional. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed. The Court reversed, holding that the trade organization lacked standing to challenge the county legislature compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act and that the plastic product producer failed to allege any threat of cognizable injury that it would suffer different from the public at large. Effective March 1, 2020, Suffolk County Local Law No. 9-2020, requires that a 5 cent paper carryout bag reduction fee is charged on each paper carryout bag provided by a person required to collect tax to a customer in Suffolk County. The paper carryout bag reduction fee must be reflected and made payable on the sales slip, invoice, receipt, or other statement of the price rendered to the customer.