Attack of the Plastic Bags!

Attack of the Plastic Bags!
Disposable plastic bags just sit there, clogging our landfills and oceans, but their manufacturers aren’t so passive. Three of them are suing a reusable bag maker for saying  … that plastic bags clog our landfills and oceans. They claim such talk has “irreparably harmed” their business.

Plaintiffs Hilex Poly Co., Superbag Operating and Advance Polybag are suing ChicoBag, a small reusable bag maker. ChicoBag’s president Andy Keller tours the country dressed up as the Bag Monster in a costume composed of 500 disposable bags, what the average American trashes in a year.

The lawsuit is also trash, clearly designed to quash free speech and tie up a competitor in costly lawsuits. That kind of legal trash is called SLAPP, a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. Many states forbid such suits, but this one was brought in Federal District Court, and there is no Federal anti-SLAPP law.


“Plastic Bag Giants Sue Reusable Bag Entrepreneur for Loss of Sales,” Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill Considered

“The Majestic Plastic Bag – Part IV,” Beach Chair Scientist

ChicoBag Sued for “Falsely Advertising” Mutli-Use Bags Better Than Plastic,” Lara Pearson, BrandGeek

Civil Complaint Hilex Poly vs ChicoBag

“A Worldwide Survey of Plastic Bag Bans & Waste (Infographic),” Brian Merchant, Treehugger

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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One Response to “Attack of the Plastic Bags!”

  1. Jane Says:

    Here’s an update on the lawsuit involving ChicoBag. A settlement was reached on September 13, 2011:

    “Bag Wars: Plastic Bag Giants Superbag and Advance Poly
    Split from Hilex Poly, Drop Out of Lawsuit Against ChicoBag;
    Hilex Poly, standing alone, settles case with ChicoBag and agrees to
    change position on windblown litter and recycling rates.” Chicobag press release.

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