Calif. AG doubles down on plastics inquiry amid lawsuits

By Ellie Borst | 05/29/2024 01:36 PM EDT

The Plastics Industry Association and the American Chemistry Council are asking a federal district court to prohibit the attorney general from seeking certain protected documents and from investigating further.

Rob Bonta talks into a microphone.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta fields questions during a press conference. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Two of the largest plastics industry groups sued California Attorney General Rob Bonta seeking to keep certain documents private, and Bonta sued right back.

The American Chemistry Council and the Plastics Industry Association, also known as PLASTICS, filed complaints in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday, arguing Bonta is “abusing his authority” with attempts to “bully” the groups into handing over documents considered privileged under the First Amendment.

Bonta on Wednesday morning announced he filed two petitions requesting the Sacramento County Superior Court support and enforce his investigative subpoenas.


The subpoenaed documents would be part of the first-of-its-kind investigation Bonta launched in April 2022 targeting “the fossil fuel and petrochemical industries for their role in causing and exacerbating the global plastics pollution crisis.”