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Chico Bag Ban Vote Tuesday, Could Face Legal Challenge

Published On: Apr 16 2013 01:23:25 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 16 2013 10:43:32 AM CDT
Chico Bag Ban Vote Tuesday, Could Face Legal Challenge
CHICO, Calif. -

A vote to approve an ordinance banning single-use plastic shopping bags in the City of Chico is set for Tuesday--and the ban could face a legal challenge.

As written, the ordinance would ban plastic shopping bags at major retailers and customers would have to pay 10 cents for paper bags.

That 10 cent fee is just one of the many details put in place to avoid legal action.

A group called "Save the Plastic Bag" is threatening to sue the city should they decide to move forward.

"Save the Plastic Bag" wrote the city warning of a possible legal challenge. In the letter they say the city should wait until rulings are made on similar suits against cities like Marin--which has adopted a plastic shopping bag ordinance.

Councilman Randall Stone and he said the ban will almost certainly pass. Although, if the council decides to re-word some details it could be put off until their next meeting.

He says the city has been working on the ban for almost two years now in order to get the language as near to perfect as possible and avoid a lawsuit.

"We are not without recognizing those potential risks," he says, "It's one of the reasons we drafted the policy the way we did--taking into factor all of the potential and previous litigation history in other communities."

Chico's ban wouldn't go into effect until the first of January, another move the council has made to ensure it won't get sued.

If passed, they'll have up until the first of next year to make minor adjustments to the ordinance's language based on what legal challenges pop up for other bag ban cities.