Since launching Our Last Straw in June, Founding Farmers Co-Owner Dan Simons has continued to collaborate with local businesses and legislators to eliminate the distribution of plastic straws across the DMV.
As a recently elected Garrett Park, MD council member, Dan began working with his mayor and co-council members on a ban of plastic straws in their town. Dan drafted the ordinance, which was voted on and unanimously passed last week. When the ban is officially enacted on March 4, 2019, Garrett Park will be the very first town in Maryland to implement a plastic straw ban.
As you can see in the picture above, there was some unusual testimony at the Garrett Park town council meeting from none other than Dan’s son Finn speaking on behalf of Our Last Straw’s famous Eddy the Turtle: “We wouldn’t throw our trash in your house, so please don’t throw your trash in ours.” Finn added his own testimony too by explaining that he has learned he doesn’t need a straw, and when he goes to places like Starbucks, he asks for no straw and no plastic cup top.
A plastic straw ban is also being considered in Maryland’s State House. Last week, Dan also testified at a hearing for Maryland’s Economics Matters Committee and the Environment & Transportation Committee. In his testimony, available in full on LinkedIn, he spoke from a business perspective as a 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.”
Founding Farmers only uses straws when necessary, for our milkshakes, drinks with pebble ice, and the like, and we use an assortment of biodegradable and marine-degradable straws, including hay and paper straws. We are continuing to encourage our colleagues across the hospitality industry to stop their distribution of plastic straws. We also work to educate our guests on the health and environmental hazards of plastic straws.