Hilex Poly Company LLC, Hartsville, S.C., a manufacturer and recycler of plastic bags, films and wraps, has reached a settlement agreement with ChicoBag, a manufacturer of re-usable bags, resolving a lawsuit in which Hilex Poly contended that ChicoBag was making false marketing claims against it. The agreement resulted in an undisclosed settlement payment to Hilex Poly from ChicoBag.
According to a Hilex Poly press release, earlier this year the company filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of South Carolina to stop ChicoBag’s use of false and misleading statements about plastic retail bags published on ChicoBag's website and in other written materials.
Prior to the settlement, ChicoBag revised 11 of 16 claims on its "Learn the Facts" webpage. In addition, as part of the settlement, ChicoBag agreed it would not use archived EPA websites containing outdated data and provide full citation with sources and dates for facts or statistics included in its materials. In addition, the settlement outlines covenants to guide conduct by the parties in future marketing communications after the agreement.
"This settlement is a win for consumers," says Mark Daniels, Hilex Poly vice president of sustainability. "The use of false and misleading statements is injurious to the marketplace, and this settlement ensures that facts are accurate. We welcome a vigorous and honest debate about the use of plastic carryout bags. While all parties are entitled to their own opinions, Hilex Poly believes that everyone should be careful to be accurate in the facts presented. Hilex Poly remains committed to partnering with all stakeholders, including ChicoBag, to promote the EPA's recommendations to 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle' plastic bags."