Homegrown Heroes – Glenn Dawson from The Only Straw

Meet Glenn, 2020 Startup Gippsland program participant and founder of The Only Straw.

Glenn has a passion for replacing the way we use and dispose of straws. His search for a quality alternative began many years ago, when he owned and operated small beachfront hotels and restaurants in Indonesia. After 12 months of planning, The Only Straw officially launched in October 2021. 


Keep reading to learn more about Glenn and his business story. 


Glenn Dawson The Only Straw

Tell us a little about your startup, and what you do.

The Only Straw offers an alternative drinking straw to paper and plastic. The straws are 100% biodegradable, home compostable, and completely zero waste – made entirely of natural ingredients, and safe for everyone to use. The straws will last in a drink for over an hour, which proves better than paper straws which just don’t last the distance. Our straws break down within 90 days in any environment, landfill, or waterway, and are marine life and wildlife friendly.


What inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship and bring your idea to life?

I wanted to find a suitable drinking straw alternative that was safe for the environment and the planet.


What’s the best thing about being a founder in Gippsland?

The best thing is the great support you receive from local businesses and government agencies!  The Startup Gippsland program also gave me the tools to build my business, and a community of people to help answer questions, share challenges and wins, and provide the guidance I needed. 


What is your vision for the future of your startup? What do you hope to achieve?

I am aiming for a 1% market share for single use straws – and hope to replace 35 million straws with my eco-friendly Only Straw over the next 12 months.


What advice would you give to a Gippslander looking to build a startup?

You have to believe in your product and believe in yourself to be able to push through all the challenges, because there will be many. Eventually things will start to take shape as you gain confidence in yourself and momentum in your business. If you can get to this stage, you truly have something worthy – “go for it”!

The Only Straw website

Would you like to learn more about our Homegrown Hero, Glenn, and his business, The Only Straw?

Take a look at his website here.

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