Apparently restaurant proprietors and bodega operators who signed on in support of the Restaurant Action Alliance NYC had no idea that the purportedly “grassroots coalition” is actually just sponsored by the American Chemistry Council, the same association that opposed the plastic-bag ban in California, calling it tantamount to a “$1 billion tax added to their grocery bills.” In New York, the group is trying to knock down a proposed citywide ban on polystyrene food containers, saying it will cost the food-service industry and others at least $91.3 million a year, the Epoch Times reports.
The paper reports that “around 2,300” restaurateurs have been recruited to send letters to City Hall seeking to foil Councilman Lewis Fidler’s proposed ban, which would forbid polystyrene manufacturing within the city and prohibit establishments from serving food in foam containers, which are “virtually impossible to recycle.”
But some restaurant owners say they had no idea that Restaurant Alliance was underwritten by the American Chemistry Council, despite the fine print on its website footer. The owner of a Greek restaurant in midtown says he was approached by someone who invoked Health Department inspectors, out-of-control fines, and the specter of Nanny Bloomberg. A community organizer said he was “a little confused” after he learned of the connection. Through a spokesperson, City Council member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who is chair of the NYC Council Committee on Health, said she “finds the news disturbing” and promises to investigate. Sometimes, it seems, “grassroots” is just a euphemism for AstroTurf.