Taking Our Last Straw to the DC Council

Co-Owner Dan Simons took to DC’s government halls on Friday, testifying at a hearing on plastic straws and stirrers. Speaking before the DC Committee on Transportation and the Environment, Simons encouraged the council to pass the bill that prohibits the sale, use, or provision of non-compostable straws and stirring implements by food service entities, beginning January 1, 2019 with one change: replace the word “compostable” with “biodegradable.”

At Founding Farmers, we made the switch to biodegradable straws over a year ago.

In the last year alone, our three DC restaurants – Founding Farmers DC and its siblings, Farmers & Distillers and Farmers Fishers Bakers – have eliminated over 938,000 plastic straws from the DC trash stream. We did this by switching from compostable straws to paper and hay. We also have always used fewer straws than many, because we don’t use straws in many of our drinks, including water. It is important to note that if a guest requires a plastic straw, for health or disability reasons, we are keeping a small selection of plastic straws on hand.

Also testifying at the hearing was Julie Sharkey, Campaign Manager for Our Last Straw, the foundation we launched in June to build a coalition of restaurants, cafes, bars, and others in the hospitality industry to eliminate plastic straws across the DMV and beyond. She urged the council to pass the amendment saying, “Plastic straws, just like plastic bags, are the gateway to increased awareness about the environmental and health hazards of plastics, and a critical stepping stone on the path to reducing our reliance on single-use plastics.”

Testimony was also given by representatives from the Alice Ferguson Foundation, the DC Chapter of the Sierra Club, and DC Doesn’t Suck. The entire hearing was recorded and can be watched online.

Through the Eyes of the Founding Farmer.