Plastic Pollution Lawsuit to Proceed in California

June 7, 2022
A lawsuit against major food & beverage companies over plastic pollution of California’s coastline can continue, a state judge has ruled.

A lawsuit against major food & beverage companies over plastic pollution of California’s coastline can move forward, a state judge has ruled.

The lawsuit was brought in early 2020 by Earth Island Institute, an environmental nonprofit, against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé (now BlueTriton) and seven other consumer goods companies. It charges the defendants with polluting California waterways with plastic trash and falsely claiming that their packaging is recyclable.

The defendants had sought to move the trial to federal court, or to courts in the jurisdictions where they’re based. Judge V. Raymond Swope of the San Mateo County Superior Court ruled that the state has jurisdiction and that the lawsuit can proceed.

“Last week’s ruling correctly finds that companies marketing, selling, and profiting from products packaged in plastic in California can also be sued in California for the harms caused by their plastic packaging,” Sumona Majumdar, Earth Island Institute’s general counsel, said in a statement. “Corporations like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo can’t be allowed to hide behind their out-of-state status to avoid accountability for their role in the plastic pollution crisis here in California.”

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