Upstate Localities Looking at Single Use Plastics Legislation
Troy and East Aurora are the two latest Upstate New York localities that have introduced bills that would ban single use plastics, and - to a certain extent - plastic straws. These two areas join a growing list of communities that are looking at this type of legislation as the pressure to become more environmentally friendly increases. Both of these bills are set to be heard by bodies who will make final decisions in the coming months, with the East Aurora hearing happening Monday, August 19.
While the NYSRA applauds the intent of these environmentally conscious bills, we do have concerns over how this will affect the bottom line of many restaurants. Plastic alternatives are still quite expensive and to mandate these changes before the marketplace evens out is irresponsible. In our testimony in front of these local bodies we also encouraged them to include a financial hardship provision which would allow restaurants to continue to use these plastic materials if they can demonstrate that making this change will cause irreparable financial harm to the business.
NYS Restaurant Association Working with Grubhub on Educational Roundtables
Last week the NYSRA advocate team sat down with executives from Grubhub to discuss the recent issues surrounding the company. This initial meeting was productive and we are working with the company to ensure that restaurants are able to find solutions to problems and receive the appropriate refunds if erroneously charged. We are also working with Grubhub on a series of educational round table events that will allow restaurants to meet face-to-face with representatives from Grubhub in an effort to increase awareness and transparency. The Association should have more details on these meetings in the coming weeks.
Ongoing Advocacy Against NYC Paid Vacation Mandate Results in Promising Comments from Speaker Johnson
This summer, the NYSRA Advocacy team has been working on an ongoing lobbying effort against the proposed paid vacation mandate, and our work will continue into the fall and beyond. We have been part of a strong coalition with other business industry groups and have met one-on-one with many Council Members and their staff. From these meetings, each Council Member we have spoken to has expressed concern with all or part of the legislation.
This week we were very pleased with a statement from NY City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, saying he is concerned about the impact the paid vacation proposal would have on small business. You can read more of what he had to say in this
, and we are excited that these comments came as a result of our ongoing advocacy efforts.