City of Baltimore Announces Lawsuit Filed Against Plastic Manufacturing Companies for Role in Pollution

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, June 20, 2024) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a landmark lawsuit against PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Frito Lay, and plastic manufacturing companies for their significant roles in creating a plastic pollution crisis. On the heels of a similar lawsuit filed by New York State, Baltimore City alleges that these companies created a public nuisance by creating products that they know will cause significant environmental harms.

When littered, single use plastics are not just an eyesore and a danger to wildlife. These plastics contain chemicals that are leached into the water and soil, and recent studies have found microplastics – the small pieces of debris left behind when plastic is broken down – in human organs. Their impact is further exacerbated by the fact that only about 5 percent of plastic waste can be recycled.

“We are continuously working to make Baltimore a greener, more resilient city that is ready to take on the climate challenges facing the entire world and one that prioritizes the health of our residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “We are taking proactive steps like those outlined in our RISE strategic action plan and working in partnership with environmental organizations in the region to do what we’re capable of to improve the health and cleanliness of our city. But when bad corporate actors have harmed our City’s land and water, they must be held accountable – and that’s what this suit is designed to do.”

"Our Affirmative Litigation Division is actively pursuing those who would compromise our environmental health,” said Ebony Thompson, Baltimore City Solicitor. “We have brought suit against those responsible for PCB and PFAS chemical contamination and cigarette filter pollution, among others. So far, we have brought in over $8 million from our environmental claims, and intend to bring in more to address the damage caused by companies that put profits before people."

The lawsuit was filed today, June 20, 2024, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. 

Sara Gross, Chief of the Affirmative Litigation Division, will represent the City along with Smouse & Mason, LLC, Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, LLC, and Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC.

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