Chico Bags a Big Win

In a victory for sustainability, the nuisance lawsuit filed by Big Plastic against reusable bag entrepreneur Andy Keller has been settled. The SLAPP suit, designed to silence Keller’s small ChicoBag company in its claims that single use plastic bags are an environmental and economic nightmare, resulted in a settlement that requires both sides to provide citations for their stated facts.

Considering how fast and loose the plastic bag industry has been playing with the facts, there’s no question that the settlement favors Chico.

More important, the settlement demonstrates that the bag manufacturers bullying tactics will not succeed at intimidating California’s green businesses to stop fighting for a clean environment.

All too often, you hear rhetoric from corporate fat cats that we need tort reform to eliminate frivolous lawsuits to help businesses. Here is a case where anti-environmental businesses brought the frivolous lawsuit. I wonder if Big Plastic has learned that lawsuits designed to hamper start-up sustainable businesses only give their industry a bad name.

Supporting green businesses helps our economy and protects the environment. In this case, Keller has stood up to polluters with an unequivocal answer to the decades old question: “Paper or plastic?” Andy answered, “Neither. Buy reusable.”

Let’s hope that his courage is rewarded by record sales and a consumer population that agrees with him at the cash register.


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