Since founding the Our Last Straw coalition last summer, our very own Dan Simons has been working to further the cause of eliminating the use of plastic straws across the DMV, and beyond. He has remained out in front working with other restaurant and hospitality owners and operators, local government offices and like-minded agencies, even as a newly inducted town council member.
With progress such as DC’s plastic straw ban, which began in January, Dan has widened his scope to include Maryland, where he lives with his family and where he was named town council member as a resident of Garrett Park, MD. In his new role, Dan recently introduced an ordinance banning plastic straws, which was voted on and unanimously passed last week. 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.
“Generally when you educate people about the real environmental impact, people get on board,” Simons said in a recent Bethesda Magazine article entitled, “Garrett Park Bans Plastic Straws.” In other recent press on this important ban, Dan was featured on MyMCMedia.org, “Garrett Park Councilman, Straw Ban is ‘Simple Place to Start’,” stating, “We’re proud to do our part to reduce consumer use of single-use plastics to help keep our waterways clear of debris. We hope that other towns and cities follow our lead as we work with them to eliminate single-use plastic statewide.”
Even Our Last Straw’s Eddy the Turtle and Dan’s son, Finn, (*pictured here) got in on making a change for the better. They were present at the Garrett Park, MD ordinance hearing where Finn testified for his friend Eddy, stating: “We deserve a nice, safe place to live. We wouldn’t throw our trash into your house, so please don’t throw your trash into ours.”
Next stop? Dan testified in front of 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.”