Do "straw upon request" policies really work?

Those of us passionate about reducing our single-use plastic footprint likely took the pledge to “skip the straw” long ago, but how is the reduction movement influencing the average consumer? A recent paper by Travis P. Wagner (University of Southern Maine’s Department of Science and Policy) and Patti Toews (San Luis Obispo County Integrated Solid Waste Management Authority) analyzed the impacts of a “default choice modification ordinance” in San Luis Obispo, CA. Unlike a “straw ban”, a “default choice modification ordinance” does not completely restrict establishments from distributing straws - instead, it instructs that straws be offered only upon request.

The paper highlights how the ordinance has impacted 133 businesses - including their reduced single-use plastic footprint. To read more about the success of the ordinance, check out the paper here.