Prohibiting Plastic Shopping Bags May Require an EIR

On January 27, 2010, in Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach (B215788), the Second District Court of Appeal held that the petitioners had raised a "fair argument" that a City of Manhattan Beach prohibition against the use of plastic bags at point of sale might lead to a significant environmental impact, and that therefore the City should have prepared an environmental impact report (EIR) before it adopted the ordinance containing the prohibition. Even though the clear purpose of the ordinance was to avoid negative effects on the marine environment caused by plastic refuse, this did not excuse the City's failure to first prepare an EIR before adopting the plastic bag prohibition.

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