Manufacturing plastic bags is big business, make no mistake about that. The inroads that Eco- groups and blogs like Say No to Plastics have made getting consumers to switch from single use plastic bags to reusables has not gone un-noticed by plastics industry.
Rather than change their products by producing biodegradable bags that consumers could feel good about using, theses plastic bag manufacturers have decided to bully ChicoBag and sue the company in South Carolina.
What’s their gripe? Well, it seems that according to the lawsuit, entrepreneur Andy Keller aka The Bag Monster and President of ChicoBag, his company’s website is using outdated EPA information about the percentage of plastic bags being recycled and that has caused them irreparable damage.
What this is really about is intimidation and bullying by manufacturers who see the future of their company’s bottom lines. Keller’s creation Bag Monster, so named because Americans use an average of 500 plastic bags a year, is having a lasting impact.
It’s hard to forget a guy running around wearing 500 plastic bags walking down the street, swimming in the ocean, and riding a motorcycle! In other words, his message is getting through.
According to the New York Times:
Three large plastic bag makers are suing ChicoBag Company, claiming that the eco-friendly company has caused irreparable harm to their businesses.
Hilex Poly Company, LLC, Superbag Operating, LTD., and Advance Polybag, Inc. have an issue with ChicoBag’s Learn The Facts page on its Web site. Here, the firm cites facts from the Environment Protection Agency and other reputable sources about the effects of plastic bags on the environment. For instance, the group cites facts such as “only one percent of plastic bags are recycled.” This and other similar statements, the plaintiffs believe, are false advertising and unfair competition.
The lawsuit, filed by three leading plastic bag manufacturers, contends that ChicoBag (whose reusable bag, when compressed into its carrying pouch, looks like a slightly squished Hacky Sack) knowingly overstated figures like the size of the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean and the number of marine creatures killed by eating plastic garbage.
Andy Keller, like millions of us, is absolutely passionate about the environment’s need for us to break our addiction to single-use plastic packaging.
BTW, the EPA’s new figure on the percentage of plastic bags being recycled is a whopping 7%, not very impressive! The plastic bag manufacturers should be ashamed of themselves and their companies. The degree of death and devastation caused by these single use plastic bags outrageous.
Of the 30.7 million tons of plastic generated in 2007, only 2.09 million tons, or less than 7%, were recycled. Learn more about municipal solid waste facts and figures (Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in the United States).
As a reminder, we have been recommending these reusable bags for two years.