The Common Man family, based in Ashland, has removed all plastic straws from its restaurants statewide, investing instead in a paper straw alternative for guests.
According to a statement, the almost 50-year-old hospitality company says it has closely monitored the worldwide movement to cut down or ban use of plastic straws in restaurants, because of their slow break down in landfills and threats to wildlife and the environment.
The Common Man’s Chief Operating Officer Sean Brown says their restaurants moved to an on-demand distribution of straws in 2018, giving plastic straws only when guests requested them, but in alignment with some of the company’s other environmental initiatives, and to meet guest needs, members of the operations team investigated other eco-friendly options.
In partnership with vendor Central Paper Products in Manchester, The Common Man found a good fit with paper straws that are made from Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, are certified Cedar Grove compostable, non-toxic, chemical-free, BPA-free, uncoated, and FDA food grade-compliant.
Brown said The Common Man’s move to paper straws actually increases paper goods costs for the company by about $24,000 annually, but the benefit to the environment and convenience for guests will be the return for that investment.
“We’re focused on doing the right thing on many levels,” says Brown. “Some guests need straws due to dental issues or sensitivity to cold, others just prefer to use a straw with their beverage. This provides an eco-friendly way to meet those needs and preferences.”