Don’t Like the Competition Talking about Science? No Problem, Just Take ’Em to Court

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plastic bagsIt isn’t just the FDA that wants to censor science in America. Three major plastic bag manufacturers are suing eco-friendly ChicoBag simply for citing scientific facts and statistics. Strike back with our new Action Alert!

Plastic grocery bags are not biodegradable. They clog waterways, spoil the landscape, pollute the soil and water (and therefore us), and choke birds and marine mammals who mistake them for food. Once they end up in landfills, they may take 1,000 years or more to break down into ever smaller particles that continue to pollute the environment.

These are facts.

Three large plastic bag makers—Hilex Poly Company, LLC; Superbag Operating, LTD; and Advance Polybag, Inc. apparently don’t like these kind of facts and have filed a lawsuit in South Carolina. They are suing the ChicoBag Company, claiming that it has caused harm to their businesses.

ChicoBag is trying to help eliminate the unnecessary use of single-use paper and plastic bags. They have designed reusable bags that are durable, tasteful, and convenient: they are small enough to tote in a pocket and have features that allow them to be clipped anywhere.

The three single-use plastic bag manufacturers accuse ChicoBag of unfair advertising and unfair competition. What did ChicoBag do that was so wrong? The company merely cited the effects of plastic bags on the environment on its Learn the Facts web page:

  • “A reusable bag needs only to be used eleven times to have a lower environmental impact than using eleven disposable bags.” Source: EPA
  • “Only one percent of plastic bags are recycled.” Source: EPA
  • “Somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.” Source: National Geographic

Note that none of these facts come from ChicoBag. The company is simply citing well-known information from reputable sources. The same information has been used in countless publications, news stories, and websites over many years; ChicoBag is one of the few organizations that actually provides documented sources for the facts they use. In other words, the plastic bag industry seems to be angry that ChicoBag quoted the Environmental Protection Agency and National Geographic and told the truth. (We see this kind of behavior all the time from the FDA but it’s less usual in commerce.)

The lawsuit was conveniently filed in South Carolina because that state has no so-called anti-SLAPP laws—laws that protect against lawsuits “intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.” The plaintiffs are citing the Lanham Act, a piece of trademark legislation which says a company can sue over claims which merely point to their product in general.

The discovery process (where both sides trade pertinent information with each other) is currently underway, and a jury trial is scheduled for sometime in early 2012.

Andy Keller, the owner and president of ChicoBag, has posted a detailed timeline showing the history and tactics of the single-use plastic bag industry against eco-friendly alternatives.

Plasticbaglaws.org is an excellent resource for staying vigilant on the issue. They also have a listing of all federal, state, and local laws and pending legislation pertaining to plastic bags on their website.

We have seven different Action Alerts for residents of those states with pending legislation about single-use plastic bags. None of the bills ask for an out-and-out ban. Many place a fee on single-use disposable bags, and some require that the plastic bags meet certain environmental standards. Further, some of the bills require that retailers sell reusable bags at the check-out counter. Supporting these bills is a good way to stand up to the plastic bag industry and let them know we don’t like their predatory tactics of intimidation. We also have a general Action Alert for residents of the other 43 states to ask their state legislators to introduce similar bills. Please take action today!

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  • Susan Bolgen

    Let’s encourage re-usable plastic items. We cannot continue to spew non-degradable bags into the environment. Support companies who attempt to support the environment.

  • David Higgins

    This lawsuit against Chicobags is atrocious. The truth is plastic bags are killing our environment and conservation laws should be made to prohibit the manufacturing of one time plastic bags.

  • Nancy Evans

    While I totally support the right of Chico Bags to state the facts such as “some plastic grocery bags are not biodegradable. They clog waterways, spoil the landscape, pollute the soil and water” and so on, I do not support another bill to prevent usage of plastic bags. We have too many of these nanny laws, especially in California. But Rock On Chico Bags. You don’t need a law to put plastic bag makers out of business, you just need to be able to state the truth, and I am first in line to protect your right to do that.

  • V. Calkins

    This is absurd and should be criminal. How fast can we introduce legislation that will restrict lawsuits that are filed specifically to protect companies / industries / etc. from the TRUTH? Without scientific research, we would still be barbarians. Science is vitally important to our well being, worldwide – it must be kept independent and available to all.

  • Dustin

    I hope justice prevails here and the truth is allowed.

  • We are an all-volunteer nonprofit providing information for people with cancer, many of whom are interested in healthier lifestyles. Eco-friendly products are favored by us and the 90,000 monthly visitors who come to our website.

    Protect our environment, it is the ONLY one we have. Cancer incidence is increasing every year. Since we have no more genes than we ever had, something is causing those genes to behave badly. We think it is environmentally-related.

    Facts are facts – eco-friendly is BETTER.

  • robert seaton

    I’m a little torn on this one folks. I am old enough to remember when there were no plastic bags.
    We lugged paper bags, and if you got caught in the rain with a PAPER bag full of groceries you were in for a world of hurt. They fell apart !
    So now correct me if i’m wrong, but wasn’t it the tree huggers to begin with who clamoured for plastic bags because we were cutting down all the precious trees?…. I know i’m right,because i heard it with my own two ears on a forum with a bunch of glassy eyed pot smoking rainbow butterflies.
    I am all for saving the earth but someone make up your minds !

  • A single plastic grocery bag blowing on the streets of Albany,NY, can find its way into the Hudson River, flowing south into the Atlantic Ocean under the Verrazano Gateway Bridge. From there it will follow and flow with the Atlantic currents, working its way northward past the coasts of Maine and Canada and into the North Atlantic. Undaunted by the ocean salt and winds it will find itself submerging slowing into the great northern oceans of the Atlantic, spiraling downward into the dark depths were the corrosive salt will start to break down this convenient carry all given out so freely in our supermarkets. With luck the bad will disintegrate into microscopic particles that will be consumed by the crustacean life forms on the ocean floor like the shrimp and lobster and krill that end up on your plate. So how do you like your Lobster. A little butter with plastic on the side?????

  • Jason Slupski

    If they love their precious bags so much and think their safe then they can afford to have them wrapped air-tight around their heads for several hours, just to “show us”.

  • Darold

    Unfair competition for businesses that aren’t willing to be responsible for their products that pollute the environment suing for unfair competition from a producer that can reduce pollution? And trying to use the courts to eliminate a competitor. So much for free enterprise! Three big environmentally irresponsible companies ganging up on a smaller one that is being environmentally responsible! Their attitude is clearly that the bottom line is all that counts and could care less about the consumption of scarce resources (oil) while letting someone else suffer the consequences of their pollution – classic “free enterprise”.

  • Edith Ogella

    I live in Claifornia, and am shocked that pribate companies influenced the writing of textbooks. We have not used plastic bags for years, and it has not changed our buying habits.

  • stan kilkes

    FDA start protecting the people not the corporations

  • Have the courage to do the right thing.

  • David Melvin

    The truth about plastic bags is not pretty, from the garbage patches in the ocean, to landfills. It is a recycling and usage issue, and should not be censored

  • Diana Bowen

    I applaude ChicoBag for their design and eco-firendly construction of reusable bags. Conventional plastic bag manufacturers could learn from their lead–there are more people than you think who use reusable bags already–why not join in?

  • If the plastics company’s cant beat you thru facts, try financial terrorism with bogus law suits.

  • Kay Wuthier

    Plastic bags are not biodegradable! Fact!

  • What are you kidding me plastic bags end up in trees and stay there for years.

  • I am hunting for glass containers to store food. I’ve had concerns about the effects of plastic surrounding foods and wonder if it has anything to do with the epidemic of obesity?

    Taking people to court just holds back the heavy polluters from becoming responsible.
    The first polluters on the NAFTA Agreement in Mexico were the plastic companies and ruining prestine unpolluted bays on the Baja.

    Our ancesters faught the battle to ensure that TRUTH can be written and spoken in America! Let us not forget this important battle.

  • Sylvia Latimer

    This is a FREE COUNTRY and WE, the People will NOT accept, censoring of Science or anything else!!!! We demand Our Freedom of Speech, as stated in the Constitution of the United States of America!!! So help Us G_d!!!

  • This is just another example of the “corporatization” of our country.At every turn there is the intent to obliterate meaningful competition!

  • faith franck

    i can never find your action alert that will take me to a place where I can perform the action.

    • Please click the name of your state at the bottom of the article. If you do not see your state in the list, click “All Other States.”

  • Sherry DeClercq

    So the EPA is an unreliable source ? An inconvenient truth indeed here !

  • renata vackova

    thank you for doing your job

  • Elizabeth Powers

    We have a huge mountain to climb to recover from the way we have used the Earth in the past 50 years. Please be part of the solution.

  • Natalie Mannering

    Plastic bags need to go. They are bad for the environment, bad for us. Resistance is futile. Submit.

  • Greg LaMastro

    Science is becoming a pariah in our country when it used to be revered!! Ronald Reagan famously said “Facts are stupid things”, i digress, I agree much more with John Adams who said “Facts are stubborn things”. There aren’t two sides to fact and truth! It just shows you how propagandized we are in America, it is relentless!!! All to make a buck. We can not afford such ignorance.

  • Bill Martens

    It is sad that a company that is practicing honesty and actually producing an environmentally product can be sued for doing what is right. This case simply should not go to court as the facts are clear. Those who are so greatly contributing to pollution should be the ones that need to pay for the harm that they are doing.

  • meg sinclair

    stop these plastic companies from intimidating their way into profits
    please utilize environmental restraints on their production of an environmental hazatrd!!

  • Reed Heffelfinger

    The sharing of factual information is imperative.
    If you are manufacturing a product that is harmful to any life form and it is being named and you believe it is harmful to your business…………. Change your product line.

    The only thing we can count on is change.
    Without change we stagnate SCIENTIFIC FACT
    Stagnation is death to all life forms

    PLay nice.

    Reed

  • carol

    Plastic bags are THEE WORST INVENTION known to mankind Do you Plastic bag companies NOT SEE the plastic LANDMASS out in the middle of the ocean??? Do you just pretend to be BLIND??? You people ahould be SO ASHAMED!!!! I will use ALL my influences to SHUT YOU DOWN or until you CORRECT your ways

  • Jim Vogas

    plastic bags are choking our environment. I see them blowing across lawns and in waterways.

  • Ellen McCormick

    The facts are the facts. Period. Amen. Our oceans are full of plastic. the creatures who live in the oceans are dying from the ingestion of plastics including plastic bags. Our trees are full of plastic bags swept up by the wind. Plastic bags are not environmental. What more do I have to say. We all know the truth about plastic bags. We have only used them because they were there. Now we don’t use them any more in my town and we don’t want them any more because they are dangerous and unnecessary. We all need to carry our own bags that we reuse and wash ourselves. It’s very simple and safe.

  • P

    Love our Chico bags. They are durable, hold quite a bit and are very convenient to use. The best part is that I never see them blowing down the freeway like I see single-use bags. It is simply ludicrous that ChicoBags is being sued.

  • Ann Freidle

    I’m going to go out and buy FOUR MORE CHICO BAGS to support them!

    How can plastic bag manufacturer’s be as stupid as Monsanto?

  • Catherine Adams

    I have not used plastic bags since I came home from England in 1980.

    These companies are irresponsible!

  • Sylvia Wulf

    Chico bags provide a useful, sustainable service, and I own several already. Along with a variety of other reusable bags in my collection, they allow me to avoid adding to the landfills when I shop, as most plastic grocery bags are useless beyond that initial use. Rather than attacking a company for doing something good for the planet, why don’t these companies look into alternative uses for their factories? It seems obvious to me that the tide of opinion is turning against their current product, and stamping feet and tantrums is not going to change that. Grow up and find a way to do something positive!

  • Louise Esther Rothstein

    I do want plastic bags to meet standards that will make them much more reusable than they are now because my present plastic grocery bags are too fragile to handle washing at all well,and even if they don’t get wet,dirty or both they quickly develop holes.
    Please enforce quality controls upon plastic bags.

    Paper bags are often difficult to mold back into shape after they get wet.
    No instructions demonstrate that they do dry in shape if they are remolded while still wet,dried thoroughly before mold can take hold of them,and that tears can be taped before they spread.
    Please require instructions upon how to care for paper bags.

    Thank you.

    Yours very truly,

    Louise Esther Rothstein.

  • laurence topliffe

    Tell stores to stop buying bags from companies that complain or use the courts to shut up those who care.

  • Albert D. Viener, Esq.

    This smells a strike suit. A strike suit is when a bigger party, with lots of resources, abuses the legal process by suing a smaller party, with fewer resources, in order to punish or retaliate against the smaller party even though the claims of the bigger party have no legal merit. In many cases, the smaller party is put out of business because they can’t afford the costs of litigation. Hopefully, ChicoBag prevails, recovers all of its attorney’s fees and costs, and then sues recovers damages for abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

  • Nathan

    I might not have been swayed to use reusable bags because of the environment, but I will DEFINITELY stop using them because of the incredible injustice of big business’s actions.

  • Charles Wolfe

    The plastic bag manufacturers are correct. The facts are hurting their business. But then again, the truth often hurts businesses whose products or practices ill effects are reveled by some truth. Hopefully the truth is an adequate defense in this case.

  • Aaron

    the capitalists in this country will do anything to hide the truth about what their products are doing to the enviroment and to everyone that inhabits this planet. anything to make a buck it doesn’t matter what the harm is even if it’s to themselves.

  • Joan Taylor

    Less is more.
    Reuse, recycle.

  • Raymond Powell

    All manufacturers of non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags should be put out of business. Shoppers should learn to bring their own canvas or otherwise recyclable bags or pay the merchants’ cost of paper bags. I usually try to remember to take my canvas bags into the store, but when I forget or don’t have them with me, I definitely recycle any and all plastic bags I’m given. If I happen to be stuck without a bag some time, I feel that it would be fair to charge me for the merchant’s paper bags. All the many negative results from the use of plastic bags are disgusting — but preventable. Just don’t use them!

  • Ona

    Yes, plastic bags are a big problem, or rather the irresponsibility of people failing to recycle plastic bags is the problem. As well, there are no campaigns supporting and encouraging the recycling of plastic bags, and there are very, very few places that will accept used plastic bags for recycling.

    Plastic bags are the end product of natural gas and petroleum. Polyester ChicoBags are the end product of coal, water, and petroleum. Neither is a green product. The polyester fabric used for ChicoBags is manufactured in China. The bags are contructed in non-U.S. countries and imported (probably tax free under a “free trade” agreement) to the U.S. All three of the companies targeted in this campaign are U.S. companies with manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Hilex actually produces new plastic bags from recycled plastic bags. Hilex is the greenest of all the companies cited in this article.

    The upshot of this is, I cannot support a campaign that smears a recycling company that employs U.S. residents, and I cannot support a campaign that will result in more jobs being off-shored from the U.S. Readers, think about all of the end results of this campaign should it be successful.

    ANH-USA, you could have done better. This is not an ecologically or economically friendly or responsible campaign.

  • How can anyone be sued for telling the truth? Seems to me there is no legal basis for the plastic bag companies to sue anyone for telling the truth that the bags are not biodegradable, and kill wildlife that try to eat them, etc . . . The lawyers will make money, but nothing else will be accomplished . . .

  • Choymae Huie

    I think that it’s unconscionable that manufactures still make and sell non-degradable plastic bags knowing that it is choking our environment. Then slap a lawsuits on a competitor when they are using scientifically proven data to to point out the issues on why we must stop single use bags.

    But then the question comes up, “Are those reusable bags really biodegradable?”… But at least they are taking a step to curb the use of plastics. But even if you start using your reusable bags, there are plenty of people that don’t. And if by some miracle, you got EVERYONE to use reusable bags, what about the manufactures that package all those products in plastics?

    I think the best way out of this dilemma is to support those companies that are manufacturing bags and containers that are biodegradable. This way, you can charge anyone who don’t bring their own bags to the store the cost for a biodegradable bag and whether they recycle or reuse or not, it doesn’t matter, because it’s biodegradable. The products that are packaged in non-biodegradable materials may be a bit more expensive in the beginning, but with a statement on the label that says, “In the interest of cleaning up the environment, our choice is to packaged our products in biodegradable materials.” You might be surprised. There might be a lot of people who would be willing to spend a dollar or so more to ensure that the environment is livable for future generations.

  • Nancy Gathing

    The manufacture and use of ALL single-use plastic items needs to be banned! This needs to start with plastic bags of which the planet uses more than one trillion a year! All items, such as many grocery store items sold in single-use plastic containers, must follow. No form of plastic should be used for packaging. Some forward-thinking countries and individual cities world-wide are, already, imposing plastics bans, fees, or fines for its use. Glass, wooden, metal, or cardboard equivalents have been in use for centuries. There was life before plastics!

  • Dear Sirs:

    These are facts.
    Three large plastic bag makers—Hilex Poly Company, LLC; Superbag Operating, LTD; and Advance Polybag, Inc. apparently don’t like these kind of facts and have filed a lawsuit in South Carolina. They are suing the ChicoBag Company, claiming that it has caused harm to their businesses.

    ChicoBag is trying to help eliminate the unnecessary use of single-use paper and plastic bags. They have designed reusable bags that are durable, tasteful, and convenient: they are small enough to tote in a pocket and have features that allow them to be clipped anywhere.

    The three single-use plastic bag manufacturers accuse ChicoBag of unfair advertising and unfair competition. What did ChicoBag do that was so wrong? The company merely cited the effects of plastic bags on the environment on its Learn the Facts web page.
    I guess the plastic bag manufacturers have something to hide they don”t want discovered….Please do the right thing and always allow Science to be part of the solution.
    Thank you.
    Best,
    Julie

  • Sandra Hiser

    Anyone who is still debating the question, “Paper or plastic?” should volunteer to pick up trash at a park or river. Years ago I volunteered with PG&E at my favorite local river. The paper sacks and tissues were well on there way to decomposing…the plastic, however, was fully in tack and creating a long term danger for the wildlife and a messy view for the humans.

  • Diane Knight

    Of all the insanity. The Pacific Ocean has a pile of plastic twice the size of Texes. Rivers in Asia and Southamerica are cloged with plastic bags and bottles. Plastic throwaways need to be banned internationaly.

  • Kristen Van Tassell

    BAN PLASTIC BAGS!!!! They are environmentally damaging, and everyone should be using reusable bags every chance they get!!!!

  • john martinez

    Ban all plastic bags. Stop the campaign against ChicoBag!

  • What’s the problem with you all?.Can’t stand the fact that your bags are lethal to our environment or that we may take your almighty filthy money from you. Money can’t buy enough Earth for you or your children or all the animal and human lives.I’d say you need to take a reality check.(and of course you filed in the backward state of SC)How convenient for you.

  • Jacqueline Dern

    I am constantly horrified by the littered plastic bags I see everywhere, sides of road, near water ways… everywhere!!! It’s time we find a better solution by banning these plastic bags. They are simply not needed and undoubtedly harmful for the environment…

  • elizabeth Alexander

    No plastic bags! Pollution driven by greed…..that’s all this is.

  • lone voice

    Just ridiculous. Jealous companies can themselves choose, if so they wish, to start manufacturing eco-friendly bags . Far from fearing their profit margin, they can increase it while helping the environment at the same time.

    Be that as it may, the litigious intention is very clear here.

    Please let us write the company and telll them as much. They have a choice, but they are actively choosing to do the nasty, self-centered, crybaby thing instead. They are only making themselves look like spoilt brats banging their silver spoons on their highchairs. Let ‘s let ’em know it!

  • Don Barshay

    What an outrage! There should be a counter-suit for harassment and/or a counter-suit for a frivolous suit.

  • Benito Mussolini defined fascism as a ‘collusion of those wielding power in government with those wielding power in big companies’. The Corporate Court recently ruled that big companies can spend as much as they want to elect the people they want to collude with. More and more we see government that represents companies, many of which don’t pay taxes; representation without taxation. They represent those companies against the human race, representing the ‘corpora ficta’ the artificial beings created by force of law, against the human beings whose future is threatened by the eco-wasting practices of those companies. Every breath humans take is polluted by the companies and their government. Every drink of water or any other liquid sold as food is polluted. Human homes are polluted. Our cars are polluted. The places we work for the companies that bought our government are polluted. Since their government colludes with the companies, the humans are prohibited from complaining or pointing out the pollution, or the collusion. The experiment in American representative Constitutional democracy may be over. It has been undermined from within by enemies of the people, predators, those whose agenda is mercenary, or ideological, or both, and who use each other to gain in those things. We are dangerously deep into a perverted government and a commercial practice that will destroy humans, and economies, and themselves. It is mis-leadership, people in leadership decision-making positions who will make low-quality decisions which will continue to debilitate the human race long after those people have gone. Somehow we lost the tactical stepping-stone mode of logical homo sapiens, improving our quality-of-life along a quality-continuum, and have stagnated, at best, if not regressed. Again, we were mis-led to this by persons in leadership decision-making positions. The drug war being waged against us by pharmaceutical companies, with medicines that are as deadly to us as the diseases they ‘treat’, but don’t cure anything, is a result of collusion with their government, the one they bought away from us. Perdue Pharma is waging war, for the last two decades, with Oxycontin. But we’re not allowed to say so. Their government prohibits it. Our food supply is poisoned. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), invented in the mid-1970’s by treating corn stalks with enzymes, powerful substances, seems to be coincident with an obesity epidemic that made 63% of Americans overweight, and 34% obese. It started being used in everything in the 1980’s when white sugar got more expensive. Soda pop consumption increased 300%. Can you imagine any product with that kind of a sales increase? They had plenty of money to prevent anyone from ‘disparaging’ their product, by legally prohibiting it, using their government to pass laws against you. Diabetes, a diet-related disorder, increased from 1990 to year 2000, by 60%. It’s not genetic. It’s not a germ. What changed in the American diet to account for it? It no longer took 30 years to develop ‘adult-onset’ diabetes; it became epidemic among teenagers, who consume high quantities of soda pop and the other substances HFCS is loaded into, cole slaw, baked beans, hot dogs, sausage, ketchup, and more. Even toddlers’ bodies can be destroyed in the first few years of their lives. But destruction of human resources, the sole-source suppliers of human competence, demanded for success in all human endeavors, is not the concern of companies or their government. You’re on your own to defend yourself. How can you do it? Self-defense has been made illegal by a fascist collusion of those wielding power in government with those wielding power in companies that are destroying you.

  • Lloyd Downs

    Only bad / naughty corporate business neighbors would sue to stop competition.
    Lloyd Downs

  • barry rosen

    If some one cites accurate and true facts then any attempt to intimidate them with a lawsuit is, in my opinion, an effort to kill free speech. This should not be tolerated.

  • Patricia Orlinski

    How ridiculous. Why sue a company for educating the public. People need to know that the plastic bags we are using is causing trouble for animals and fish and birds. We coexist on this planet – humans, animals and plants – and we must respect all life so that this planet can survive.

  • I take back the plastic bags to Wal-Mart to get recycled. I didn’t know that only 1% were actually recycled. I will use my eco bags as much as possible. Most use these for small trash can liners. I see them in fields, stuck in fences, trees and along the roads. We are such a throw away society, it’s pathetic.

  • Harold Turrentine

    Start charging for plastic bags, minimum .25 cents and money refunded upon return. Make plastic bag manufacturers provide recycling and fine them for not recycling.
    Stop frivolous lawsuits like this one against a biodegradable bag manufacturer.

  • In what has always been America, one does NOT get sued for telling the truth. It is a travesty that
    plastic bag makers—Hilex Poly Company, LLC; Superbag Operating, LTD; and Advance Polybag, Inc. apparently don’t like these kind of facts and have filed a lawsuit in South Carolina.
    Perhaps their “loss of business” was more deserved than they would like anyone to know.
    Since all of the “facts” were from the EPA, perhaps the law suit is ill placed. Since the same information has been used in countless publications, news stories, and websites over many years; ChicoBag is one of the few organizations that actually provides documented sources for the facts they use.
    How ever did this nation get to this stage of deterioration? The larger problem here, it seems, is that the “big” guys just don’t like the truth being told about their product. To Bad ! ! !

  • In what has always been America, one does NOT get sued for telling the truth. It is a travesty that
    plastic bag makers—Hilex Poly Company, LLC; Superbag Operating, LTD; and Advance Polybag, Inc. apparently don’t like these kind of facts and have filed a lawsuit in South Carolina.
    Perhaps their “loss of business” was more deserved than they would like anyone to know.
    Since all of the “facts” were from the EPA, perhaps the law suit is ill placed. Since the same information has been used in countless publications, news stories, and websites over many years; ChicoBag is one of the few organizations that actually provides documented sources for the facts they use.
    How ever did this nation get to this stage of deterioration? The larger problem here, it seems, is that the “big” guys just don’t like the truth being told about their product. To Bad ! ! !

  • Carole Bretschneider

    Come on! This is America, and this is science and health. Do not sue ChicoBag Company!

  • Julie Ostoich

    Plastic bags are a blight to the environment. It is absurd that plastic bag manufacturers’ are suing ChicoBag for stating the blatant truth! If it were up to me, I’d banish the manufacture of all plastic bags and set forth new rules making it mandatory for all materials to be recyclable, reusable, and biodegrable.

  • Melanie Haas

    This is the land where free speech is protected, and it’s absurd to think that this same land of capitalism would dare to punish a reputable company who is merely marketing a product. The fact that what they are doing is also good for our planet and our future generations is just a bonus. These lawsuits are absurd, and should absolutely be thrown out immediately. Certainly our justice system has better things to do.

  • Michael Houda

    This is plainly a frivolous lawsuit against ChicoBag.

  • Peter Cartwright Jr

    Let’s keep America clean !

  • Bob Yantzer

    I am in favor of long term use grocery bags in lieu of the one time use bags we are presently using. Please, when you have the opportunity, support their use.

  • We should get rid of plastic bags as well as plastice bottles.

  • Marsha Chevalier

    I currently use Chico Bags to do my part for the ecology. The science behind reducing plastics in the landfill is clear. Everyone should support these efforts and stop letting profits trump good practices.

  • Beth Sweetwater

    Now, that businesses such as the plastic bag industry have made public that profit is most definintely more important than any environmental damage is done, we the people will start a boycott and use reusable bags and some paper when necessary. The people have a choice and they are able to make this one, just like the company who feels that they have the right to continue to make plastic bags. We should get companies to continue to promote their cheap reusable bags. No knee jerk reaction, we will just use our brains.

  • Amal Mehta

    All plastic bag companies should be required by law to follow the same standards as Chico Bags or go out of business.

  • Alice Burkhart

    All is fair in competition, and the facts remain the facts.

  • Sharon Johnson

    Be responsible! Eliminate plastic bags altogether.

  • Sharon Johnson

    Be responsible! Eliminate plastic bags altogether.

  • Sharon Johnson

    Be responsible! Eliminate plastic bags altogether.

  • Sharon Johnson

    Be responsible! Eliminate plastic bags altogether.

  • Sharon Johnson

    Be responsible! Eliminate plastic bags altogether.

  • Sharon Johnson

    Be responsible! Eliminate plastic bags altogether.

  • Duncan Baruch

    The harm plastic bags cause to the environment, and many life forms in it, is well documented.

    The plastic bag industry is far from impartial on curbing or eliminating plastic bag use, and their input should have no part in policy making, weather or not they are wealthy and influential.

    When considering the shortcomings of plastic bags, and they are many and considerable, the only rational action is to end their manufacture. A necessary solution to a terrible problem.

    Thank you.

  • William Rizer

    The plastic bag makers are using a well-worn yet powerful method for stifling opposition; the American court system. Money is power and these companies certainly have more money than the upstart. What is needed is an information campaign to expose what they are doing to mainstream America.

  • Donna Swensen

    I try to recycle all my plastic bags, but still re-use them for garbage. I hope there is someday soon a law to prohibit all plastic bags. Imagine 50–100–1000 more years of single use plastic bags and what would happen to the environment. Death to the environment by choking on plastic is what could happen!

  • N Refes

    So, it seems the continuation of making and using disposable bags ismore important to these moronic companies than the health of the planet. They should be forced out of business. Maybe they’d like to sue Whole Foods for giving a 10 cent refund for each bag we bring with us to bag our gorceries. Shameful behavior that contributes to a dying planet.

  • Chantal Lamour

    I strongly oppose this lawsuit. Chicobag is doing nothing more than stating well known facts, and it is deplorable for Hilex Poly Company, LLC; Superbag Operating, LTD; and Advance Polybag, Inc to try to stifle them via lawsuit. This is not slander — it is FACT. Money is not worth more than the one thing every human being on earth holds in common — our planet.

  • Robert

    Hi, I am a Canadian living in Norway. We must pay a fee for plastic bags here in Norway. We pay 1 Kroner per bag(16 kroner to a dollar). We also have a plastic recycling system that is connected to our garbage collection and control.

    Too bad that your industry trys to deal with the problem with slap suits against legitimate environmentally friendly producers, instead of seeing the facts as they are and trying to provide non-harmful alternatives.

    The plastic waste problem is a world wide problem reaching tragic proportions. The guilty people are those who produce plastic bags and the government bodies that are no longer the average citizens advocate and protector.
    Too bad, that is the USA and many other lands today. Anything for a quick and easy buck!
    This is an emergency. Let us work together to find a good alternative.
    Robert

  • I raid stores mandated plastic bag recycling bins for “single use” plastic bags to reuse, a few for myself and many to take to WAIM (a non-profit redistributing second hand clothing and household goods) and the local soup kitchen and emergency food pantry.

  • Suzanne Davoust

    In France they have stopped giving plastic bags in Grocery stores, and everyone brings their big reusable shopping bags with them. You can buy a new bag for about 65 cents, and the store will replace it for free once it wears out, but they last for years. It’s time we stopped throwing away bags. They are a source of waste and pollution. Think of the future; please!

  • MICHELE

    this is just incredible

  • david harvey

    i can’t believe that the companies are suing chicobag company making bags. competition is the name of the game to do the better job. what is this coming too?

  • Everyone knows the landfills are full of those bags. Why can’t they use recycled material? Science, Ha ! Who believes in that stuff? Just ask The Tea Party. It’s not true.

  • tammy

    stores should make people pay 10 cents each for plastic bags, and give you 25 cents credit on your receipt if you byob. that would save stores money and encourage reuse

  • Once again it is clear, big business runs our government. A responsible citizenry that is informed about the facts is the only way to move forward against the onslaught of mis-information and bogus lawsuits. Plastic is just another petrol product with a strangle hold on the population and the planet. Some plastics certainly are neccesary for now , but BAGS?!! c’mon. Thanks for all you do.

  • Daniel M. Cadzow

    We won’t let them use their “wealth” and greed to censor the facts and put our health and well being at risk. Y

  • Alan Leinbach

    I very much appreciate your news and opportunities to take action on the issues you caver. The frustrating thing the inaccuracy of your listed legislators for me. Both the senator and representative you list for me in Indiana are wrong. On the national level, the representative is wrong. I’d very much like to take action on these vital isues, but I don’t want to appear as a dope who doesn’t even know who his lawmakers are.

  • Michael Iarocci MS CCN

    Preventing the release of plastics into the environment is ultimately an inportant issue when it come to human health. Concentrations of these petrochemical base products enter the environment and have a negative impact on us and are the underling cause of many disorders that go undetected but cause symptoms and physiological changes (such as reductions in hormone levels); these compromise our health and wellfare.

    No one in this country should ever be punished for pointing out the facts about dangerous environmental polutants just to satisfy economic gains and/ or convenience.

    Michael Iarocci MS CCN

  • Michelle Ognjanovic

    Stop the plastic bag industry from steamrolling the green economy. Chico is doing the right thing.

  • Pamela Bernard

    What a sad day in America when it’s cheaper and more adventagious to sue in court your competition rather than compete. It time these kinds of companies have to pay the other company’s legal bills and put out a public appology. We don’t live in a country where the richest are supposed to win because they can force the other party into bankruptcy. Are these companies owned by Monsanto??

  • Benjamin Krohling

    •“A reusable bag needs only to be used eleven times to have a lower environmental impact than using eleven disposable bags.” Source: EPA
    •“Only one percent of plastic bags are recycled.” Source: EPA
    •“Somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.” Source: National Geographic

  • Jeff

    It is time to stop suing people who tell the truth. If you don’t like the truth about your product, you should make it better instead of suing those who make a better progress. Our society is about going forward, not swimming in place and sinking.

  • Sally Groom

    Can you let us know who/where to send emails where we can register our opposition?

    • Please click the link with your state’s name at the bottom of the article. If you don’t see your state, click, “All Other States.”

  • Charles Cotter

    This is an old trick used previously. When you cannot fight the science, fight the ones who are publishing the science. How many times have I see this? Many, Many Times.

  • Sheri Staley

    Every day I turn around and see something else that is so obviously wrong, with an obviously right solution, but money trumps right over wrong virtually every time. I think we need to get money out of politics before we see changes throughout the business industry. It’s simply disgusting.

  • Sheri Staley

    Every day I turn around and see something else that is so obviously wrong, with an obviously right solution, but money trumps right over wrong virtually every time. I think we need to get money out of politics before we see changes throughout the business industry. It’s simply disgusting.

  • Rita Raftery

    get a grip and do the right thing for this earth

  • Lou

    We see the attack on free speech everywhere today. We will not long remain even somewhat free when the truth cannot be told. When it is against the law to tell the truth we are not far from the concentration camps. And that is the simple truth.

  • Danielle Monahan

    Do not sue to censor the competition-these predatory tactics are offensive. Shame on these plastic bag companies!

  • L Watson

    The fact that it is known how plastic bags hare the environment is why I don’t understand why these three plastic bag manufacturors can even file a suit. It’s ludicrus. It’s an outrage. The really evil part of this is that now Chicobag will have to hire an expensive lawyer to defend them unless they already have a team of lawyers on retainer. People shouldn’t be allowed to put other people out of business just for speaking the truth. I hear people making false claims all the time on TV and nobody sues them. Oh. Big pharma can do that, right? Oh well.

  • SE

    Why oh why do we throw this stuff into landfills? If ever human beings were responsible for anything it is our waste and it’s obvious that we are not.

  • Rev. Raymond Witham

    All life is interdependent; if any species is threatened or lost, we humans are directly threatened. Any product or event that weakens or destroys a plant or animal, will eventually defeat the human race. Lying about it because the truth affects your business is dishonorable, dishonest and deadly. No corporate income is worth the lives of human beings or the species that supports them – That’s all species on earth.

  • Freeme

    How many have conducted their own ‘plastic bag’ experiment to see how long it takes tor it to rot?
    Outside 23/7/365, it takes about 2 years for the thing to shred. And if it is in the SUN, it would take less. dont believe it? DO IT YOURSELF and see.

  • Two things:

    there is a machine that will take plastic back to oil. Only it was invented in Japan so we seem to be unable to put that to use. Seems like that would be a good idea to pursue on a large scale, but that would put the oil companies on notice maybe. check these siges: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerization
    http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/a-new-way-to-turn-plastic-into-fuel/
    now if that was on a platform in the ocean sucking up the huge clots of plastc….

    A person or company should be able to quote Verified science. If you do not stand up to that test then maybe you should retool

  • whipple

    i wish you would get your facts right chico bag is a bag made in china polluting their water our air the amount of benzene ,toxic dyes,oil, are being spewed on the earth to make this bag.coal ,bauxite,iron are all strip mines to make this product for the electricity just to make the aluminium carabeaner,this is a impulse buy for people who dont realize that organically grown american fiber bags are the solution,if children are being born with birthdefects from the benzene and people are dieing for the oil to make this bag its far from sustainable

  • Linda Layne

    They’ve filed this lawsuit simply because there is finally a “small enough” business using this common knowledge about plastic bags that it won’t cost them too much to sue. Any of the other entities that also “published” this information were too large and could easily fight back and win against them. These plastic bag manufacturers see easy pickings and are going for it.

  • Wendy Futrick

    Three words: Plastic is forever.

  • I’ve been saying this about plastic since it’s inception in the 50’s. I have always believed it is basically unsafe and I taught for 45 years.
    It was hard for me fight plastic so i joined in, but I was one of the first to stop buying plastic, too.
    I shop thrift stores for affordable glass products.
    Helping young people have good health should be a major concern for business and polluting companies. What we have is “no conscious” thinkers at play. Opah brought out a waste yard the size of Texas from plastic garbage is killing life and choking our shorelines.
    Should I say more?