Our Last Straw & DC9 Help DC Say Farewell To Plastic Straws

Our Last Straw, the non-profit coalition founded by Co-Owner Dan Simons has been working hard to eliminate plastic straws across the DMV. In addition to founding Our Last Straw, he has been working with government offices and agencies on ways to regulate plastic straws.

DC’s plastic straw ban started in January. Since then, Dan has widened his scope to include Maryland.

As a council member and resident of Garrett Park, MD, he recently introduced an ordinance banning plastic straws, which was voted on and unanimously passed Monday night. The ban will go into effect on March 4, 2019, making Garrett Park the very first town in Maryland to implement a plastic straw ban.

The evening’s council meeting had some very unique and important testimony from Our Last Straw’s Eddy the Turtle and his friend Finn, who spoke for him, “We wouldn’t throw our trash in your house, so please don’t throw your trash in ours.”

On Wednesday, Dan testified in front of the Maryland’s Economics Matters Committee and the Environment & Transportation Committee at a hearing focused on banning plastic straws across the state. His testimony, available in full on LinkedIn, shared his perspective as a business owner and restaurateur, “I promise, businesses do not need plastic straws in order to succeed. We can thrive with bio- and marine-degradable alternatives. We can thrive by educating consumers that most of the time they don’t really need a straw at all.”

Farmers Restaurant Group has never distributed plastic straws. In our restaurants, we use an assortment of biodegradable and marine-degradable straws including hay and paper straws. We are continuing to work with restaurant owners, operators, and others in the hospitality industry to move the Our Last Straw mission forward in order to support supply chain solutions for businesses, as well as educate businesses and the public.

Follow Our Last Straw’s efforts and partnerships on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

To keep up with what Dan is doing to eliminate plastic straws and more, subscribe to his blog at www.DanSimonsSays.com or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

*Pictured above with Dan Simons are Maryland State Delegate Sara Love, Laura Bankey from the National Aquarium, and Ashley Van Stone from Trash Free Maryland, among others.

and Farmers Restaurant Group, recently partnered with DC9 for their second annual pop-up bar concept: Garbage BARge. The purpose: Send plastic straws off with a bang as the DC government begins to enforce their plastic straw ban today, January 1, 2019.

Our team, including the famous turtle that started it all – Our Last Straw mascot, Eddy the Turtle – helped this popular DC restaurant, nightclub, and event venue not only gather remaining straws from other businesses across the district, but also work to educate guests about the environmental and health hazards of plastic straws throughout the pop-up’s duration, which ran from December 21-30.

Farmers Restaurant Group Director of Marketing Operations and Our Last Straw Managing Director said: “We were psyched to engage cocktailers right where they are usually reaching for the straw and remind DC guests, residents, and businesses that enforcement for DC’s is beginning. Many think that straws are too small to matter in the face of the world’s growing plastic problem, but encouraging people to #StopSucking is a conscious, behavioral change for many of us, and as such, one major step in the right direction to reducing our reliance on single-use plastics overall.”

The eco-friendly and educational Garbage BARge had a handful of featured cocktails including Your Last Straw, an invitation to sign the OLS pledge to #StopSucking, and then weave their final straw into the interactive art installation made by Our Last Straw.

City-wide news coverage included the Washington City Paper, NBC, Chesapeake Bay Media, and Eater, all encouraging residents to take their last plastic straw sips before the end of the year.

Starting today, January 1st, the City of DC will begin enforcing their ban on plastic straws so all local restaurants and other businesses dispensing plastic straws will have to transition to compostable options.

(*Image Source: Lauren McGrath at DC9)