OLS Success & Strides: One Year Later

We are thrilled to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Our Last Straw (OLS), and the huge strides already made.

Our very own, Dan Simons, along with his owner partners & teams at Farmers Restaurant Group, launched Our Last Straw a year ago this month to end the use of plastic straws within the Washington, D.C. restaurant and hospitality industry. Dan and his coalition members, which includes DC area restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, and event venues, have continued the fight to eliminate single-use plastic straws in the DC metro area – and have set their sights beyond our nation’s capital.

From our steadfast founders to our growing list of industry partners, such as José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, Cava, HUNGRY, Hay! Straws, Sweetgreen, and Equinox Todd Gray, to the NGO’s and government agencies who’ve committed to Our Last Straw, we are leading the cause for change and taking it all the way to mass retailers and a broad-base of global consumers.

As an important contributor to reducing not only single-use plastics, but also plastic pollution, we are gaining ground everyday, and retailers are taking notice.Starbuckshas put a plan into place to eliminate single-use plastic straws at its more than 29,800 locations globally by next year. Disney is also working to eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers in their parks by year’s end, resulting in eradicating an estimated 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually. Most recently, Whole Foods announced plans to eliminate approximately 800,000 pounds of plastics annually by discontinuing offering plastic straws across all of their 500 stores in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Canada.

As Dan has said, “Public awareness. That’s what we’re committing to… to help educate the general public.”And by the looks of things, we are well on our way.

With Dan and his team focused on the future, with every retailer we reach and every event we participate in – such as the 31st Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup (where the results will be entered into International Coastal Cleanup data) and our very own OLS mascot, Eddy the Turtle, recently running with the presidents (*pictured here) at a hometown Washington Nationals game – we are one-step closer to eliminating the 7.5 million plastic straws found on U.S.shorelines (during a five-year cleanup project) that equates to approximately 437 million to 8.3 billion plastic straws globally.

We hope you find those numbers as unacceptable as we do.

Help us move the sustainable needle. Help us do more good and less harm to our waterways and our planet. Help promote change. NOW.

           Take Action. Donate. Make the Pledge. #StopSucking.

Keep track of our progress as we enter year two. Follow Our Last Straw on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.