A lawsuit filed in San Mateo County, Calif., Superior Court follows a rising public outcry about plastics pollution and initiatives by state and federal lawmakers to force companies to take ownership of the material they use to package their products.
California’s Legislature is reviewing measures that would impose extended producer responsibility (EPR), requiring food and drink producers to devise plans to capture empty containers, PHYS ORG reports. The lawsuit could face a hurdle over whether a California court is the proper venue for the dispute. California law provides for "public nuisance" claims, but oil companies facing lawsuits over their contribution to climate change have argued that claims involving national and international companies should be heard in federal court, the report notes.
The litigation contains several allegations against Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle U.S., Procter & Gamble and six other companies. Those allegations include public nuisance, breach of express warranty, defective product liability, negligence and failure to warn of the harms caused by single-use plastic packaging.
In February, federal legislation was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) to address growing concerns about plastics, citing source reduction and EPR as solutions.
PHYS ORG has more information:
Escalating a campaign to make corporations responsible for the waste they produce, an environmental group filed suit Wednesday against some of the world's biggest food, beverage and consumer goods companies in a California court, arguing they should be held responsible for plastic packaging that is fouling the state's oceans, rivers and streams.
The Earth Island Institute asked for unspecified damages and an order for Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle U.S., Procter & Gamble and six other companies to clean up plastic waste that the group says has created a global pollution crisis.