Plastic Protection or Bag Bullying?

The three largest plastic bag manufacturers in the US have filed a lawsuit claiming “irreparable harm” from statements on a website. The offending website belongs to ChicoBag, a California based reusable bag manufacturer.

Hilex Poly, Superbag Operating, and Advance Polybag filed the suit in South Carolina (important later) claiming the ChicoBag statements regarding plastic bags are ruining business. Each statement on ChicoBag’s website includes a citation from a government agency or major media outlet.

ChicoBag is the brainchild of Andy Keller who invented a reusable bag that folds into itself to create a pouch for easy transport. Andy also gave birth to the Bag Monster who has testified in city halls and state legislatures begging elected officials to not ban him.

Hilex Poly is the company that spent nearly $2 million in the final months of last year’s legislative session to defeat AB 1998, a statewide bag ban bill. It is also rumored to be a major contributor to the legal fight against local governments to invalidate their ordinances.

So why is South Carolina important? It is the home of Hilex Poly and has no Anti-SLAPP laws. A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) is considered a tactic to intimidate a defendant into submission and cost them a considerable amount of money in the process.

I will let you come to your own conclusions on what may really be going on. Before deciding for myself I have a few questions you may share:

Why would Hilex Poly not sue the EPA, National Geographic Society, and the Los Angeles Times who authored the environmental statements?
Why not sue environmental organizations who regularly demean plastic bags in aggressive ways?

If Hilex Poly wins will there be a funeral for the Bag Monster and will the coffin be Single-Use or Reusable?