Supporters of California's recently-passed plastic bag ban today launched an advertising campaign targeting the out-of-state plastic bag companies bankrolling an effort to force a referendum on the law.
The ads focus on the largest contributor of the referendum effort, South Carolina-based Novolex (also known as HilexPoly), and its owners, Chicago-based equity firm Wind Point Partners. The company has contributed $1.7 million to the campaign, approximately 70 percent of the $3.1 million in contributions to the effort so far; 98 percent of the contributions are from out of state, according to the California Secretary of State .
"Meet One of California's Biggest Polluters. Wind Point Partners owned Novolex/HilexPoly is spending millions on a campaign to overturn California's plastic bag ban. Tell them to stop," reads the ad.
The campaign will be unveiled in social media ads today.
"With time running out for the industry to get signatures, we wanted to let voters know who is really behind this referendum," said Mark Murray of California vs. Big Plastic. "We're getting a lot of reports of deception by signature gatherers as they get desperate. These ads make it clear about the big money behind this effort."
The industry has until December 29, 2014 to submit 504,760 signatures to the Secretary of State to qualify for a referendum. Signature gatherers are being paid up to $3.50 per signature across the state.
If successful, the plastic bag ban law, SB 270, will be frozen until November 2016. However, communities will be able to enact their own local bans. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson signaled on Monday he plans to do just that.