Letitia James Files Bonkers Lawsuit Against PepsiCo Over Plastic Pollution, Littering Consumers Do

Letitia James Files Bonkers Lawsuit Against PepsiCo Over Plastic Pollution, Littering Consumers Do

New York Attorney General Letitia James is probably best known, at the present moment, for her lawsuit against the Trump Organization alleging corporate shenanigans.

Meanwhile, her office is staying busy with the lawsuits, filing one against PepsiCo on Wednesday for, according to the headline of a news release from James’ office, “Endangering the Environment and Public Health With Plastic Pollution.”

What’s the evidence for this? According to the lawsuit, there’s a lot of plastic pollution in the Buffalo River and PepsiCo-manufactured products made up the highest percentage of the waste collected.

That’s it. That’s the logic.

I’m not positing a connection between the merits of the two cases or that either is blatant attention-seeking. I’m just sayin’.

“No company is too big to ensure that their products do not damage our environment and public health,” James said in the news release.

“All New Yorkers have a basic right to clean water, yet PepsiCo’s irresponsible packaging and marketing endanger Buffalo’s water supply, environment, and public health.

“No one should have to worry about plastics in their drinking water, plastic garbage littering their scenic riverfront, or plastic pollution harming wildlife. I will never hesitate to take on major corporations that put the health and safety of everyday New Yorkers and our planet at risk.”

The rationale is spelled out right at the top of the complaint: “Year after year, plastic packaging amasses on the shores of the Buffalo River,” the lawsuit reads.

“Single-use plastic beverage bottles, bottle caps, and snack food wrappers, of the type manufactured, distributed, and sold by PepsiCo, are collectively the most abundant forms of plastic waste along the shores of the Buffalo River, and PepsiCo is the single largest identifiable contributor to this plastic waste.”

“In a survey of plastic pollution in the Buffalo River and its environs conducted by the Office of the Attorney General in 2022, PepsiCo’s plastic packaging far exceeded any other source of identifiable plastic waste, and it was three times more abundant than the next contributor (McDonald’s),” the suit continued.

Just as a quick aside, if I were Ronald McDonald, I’d be lawyering up right now. Ask Hamburglar if he has any good recommendation for counsel. He’s got to have some experience — right?

According to CNN, PepsiCo put out a pro forma statement in which a spokesperson insisted the company “is serious about plastic reduction and effective recycling, and has been transparent in our journey to reduce use of plastic and accelerate new packaging innovation.”

“This is a complex issue and requires involvement from a variety of stakeholders, including businesses, municipalities, waste-reduction providers, community leaders and consumers,” they added, contending as a company, “we have worked effectively with a variety of communities across the country and remain committed to doing so.”

Or they could have said the bleeding obvious: They’re not the ones doing the polluting.

This isn’t just the old “personal choice” argument, although that certainly plays a part in it. Big plastic packaging isn’t big tobacco or big pharma hooking consumers on substances they knew were addictive and/or harmful.

This is a multinational conglomerate who delivers food and drink to consumers in packaging and then expects them to act in accordance with local ordinances involving litter.

I don’t remember the new “Pepsi Challenge” commercial where the company invited random people to see how far they could chuck a Pepsi bottle into a reservoir. I’m unfamiliar with the edgy, youth-courting Frito-Lay campaign (another PepsiCo product) trying to make littering seem cool.

Nor, in fact, is littering addictive. There’s no psychoactive chemical inside single-use plastics that gives people the uncontrollable urge to break the law, but only in a minor way — like, you know, littering. Nothing in the soda does it, either.

People know littering is wrong — and do it anyway. Short of more vigorous enforcement by police — something I doubt defund-adjacent progressives would sign onto — there is no effective way to convince people who know they’re doing the wrong thing to do the right thing.

But progressive voters want action and no politician in a deep-blue state has ever lost a vote for going hard against the left’s perceived enemies. So, James’ office decides to test the limits of the law by filing a meritless suit against the Trump Org… I mean, sorry, PepsiCo.

Just a slip there. Nothing more. Could happen to anybody.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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