- A poll commissioned by the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) found that 57% of respondents support the Environmental Fee Protection Act, as reported by Plastics News. California voters will see this listed as Proposition 65 on the ballot in November.
- Prop. 65 stipulates that if a statewide bag ban — Prop. 67 — is approved then all fees must go to a special fund handled by the state's Wildlife Conservation Board as opposed to retailers.
- Probolsky Research conducted the poll through 1,020 phone calls with likely California voters between Aug. 5 and 8.
The APBA has raised more than $6 million in opposition to Prop. 67, more than four times the amount raised by the environmental advocates that support it. The organization was instrumental in challenging the 2014 state law which originally instated a ban and has been active on bag ordinances throughout the country. The tactic of mandating how fees are used if the ban is upheld has drawn mixed reactions.
"These poll results show exactly what we've known all along — regardless of how California voters feel about bag bans, they want any mandated bag fees to go to a public purpose," said Lee Califf, APBA executive director, as reported by Plastics News.
The San Jose Mercury News editorial board had a different opinion on Prop. 65 last month, calling it "one of the most disingenuous ballot measures in state history." The op-ed went on to say that "letting stores keep paper bag proceeds when customers forget their reusable bags is fair compensation for their role in enforcing the ban."
Many California environmental advocates oppose the measure. They say that it's meant to turn stores against the bag ban and would generate a relatively small amount of money — especially if bag usage drops as a result of the ban. Washington D.C. is one of the largest cities to require that bag fees be used for environmental purposes, though some have questioned whether this money has been effective. In Cambridge, MA Whole Foods chose to donate money from bag fees to a local nonprofit.