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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU

ASSESSING THE USE OF DEFAULT CHOICE MODIFICATION TO REDUCE CONSUMPTION OF PLASTIC STRAWS

  • Travis P. Wagner - University of Southern Maine, Environmental Science & Policy , USA
  • Patti Toews - San Luis Obispo County Integrated Solid Waste Management Authority , USA

DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2018.13734

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2018 CISA Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 20 Jun 2018
  • Revised: 09 Oct 2018
  • Accepted: 09 Nov 2018
  • Available online: 21 Nov 2018

Abstract

There is widespread global interest in eliminating and/or reducing the use of single-use plastics. An increasingly popular target is single-use, plastic drinking straws. Although plastic straws are not a significant component of the wastestream by weight or volume, they are one of the most commonly found items in coastal litter cleanups around the world. In addition, plastic straws are an avoidable product as their use is not essential. This paper examined the impact of an ordinance based on modifying the default choice of straws, which prohibited their distribution unless a customer requested one. Based on a survey of 133 affected businesses, the reported average decrease in straw consumption was 32% (SD=27.5%). For restaurants not using a self-service straw dispenser, the average decrease was 41% (SD=25.2%) The majority of businesses reported no impact to their business, some indicated a small decrease in costs, and others reported some negative feedback from customers. Based on the study’s results, the straw-upon-request-only ordinance has been successful in reducing the consumption of plastic straws while minimizing impacts to businesses.


Keywords


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